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Summer 2004 








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VCU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION 
Alumni Association Officers 
William Ginther '69BS '74MS/B 



Jo Lynne DeMary '72MEd 

PBESIDENI ELECT 

Dan Massey '92BS/B 

VICE PRESIDENT 

Nina Sims '93BS/MC 

SECRETARY 

Jack Farmer '69BS/B 

TREASURER 

Kristi Vera '97IVISW 

OFFICER AT LARGE 



Chairs of School Ahimni Boards 
Robert Putney '83BGS 

NONTRADI'ICNAI STUDIES PROGRAM 

Thomas Phillips Jr. '73MS/B 

SCHOOL OF BUSINESS 

Stephanie Holt '74BS/B 

SCHOOL OF EDUCATION 



Board of Directors 



■ E R f.T EXPIRING 2007 

Stephen Jones '75BS/B 

Shirley McDaniel '99BGS/H&S 

Vickie Snead '76BS/B 



TERM EXPIRING 2006 

Marika Byrd '92BGS/H&S 

Quentin Corben '72BS/B 

Irvin Farmer '69BS/B 

Joseph Holicky III '76BS '78MS/B '77BS/H&S 

Cecil Millner '78BS '82MACC/B 

Susan Noble '96MT/E 



TERM EXPIRING 2005 

Donna Coghill'90BFA'94MFA 

William Davis '74BS '79MS/H&S 

Eleanor Rumae Foddrell '82BS/B 

D. Matthew Grammer 01 BS/En 

Carol Negus '63BFA 

I i h i; f • P I R ; ', G 2 4 

Stephanie Holt '74BS/E 

Juanita Leatherberry '73BS/B 

Timothy McKeever '96MBA 

Linda Warren '75BS/B 

AFRICAN AMERICAN ALUMNI COUNCIL 

Nina Sims '93BS/MC 





School of Businesf .: $30 million 

New School of Business building. Professorships 
and Scholarships 

Schoo! of the Arts $10.5 million 

Scholarships, Visiting Artists, research, equipment 
and technology, and planning funds for a new 
Anderson Gallery 

School of Engineering: $60 million 

New Phase II expansion. Professorships and 

Scholarships 

Honors Program: $1.5 million 

Scholarships and a new Honors Center in the 
Honors Dorm 

Advantage Virginia Tennis Center $7.7 million 

New youth tennis academy; a world-class 
tennis facility to attract major tennis tournaments 
to Virginia 

Coiiege of Humanities and Sciences and School 
of Mass CommunicatioR?: $5 million 

Scholarships, Fellowships, Professorships 
and Chairs 

Schools of Social Work and EduKRtior $2 million 
Scholarships, and funding for the Partnership for 
People with Disabilities 

Inger and Walter Rice Center for Environmental 

life Sciences: $3 million 

Research, facilities, and educational programming 

Uiiiversitv Libraries: $1 million 

Building renovation and collection enhancement 

School of Allied Health Professions: $4 million 

Professorships, Scholarships, and Fellowships 

Scfiool of DsRlisii y. $6 million 

Virtual Dentistry Learning Center, Clinical 

Simulation Laboratory, and conference center 

School of K $87 million 

Research, Professorships, Chairs, Scholarships, 

and graduate stipends 

School of Niirslii:: $13 million 

New School of Nursing building. Scholarships, 

Chairs, Professorships, and capital projects. 

$15 million 

Scholarships, Professorships, renovations and 
fund enhancement 

Massey Cancer Center: $70 million 

New Cancer Research Building, Professorships, 
research, and clinics 

MCV Hospitals and Clinics: $4 million 
New clinical critical care areas such as the 
Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, the Pediatric 
Hematology/Oncology Clinic, and the Newborn 
Intensive Care Unit 



Oh Wednesdav', April 28, 2004 Virginia Commonwealth 
University celebrated the public launch of its Campaign for 
VCU, the most ambitious and extensive capital campaign in 
the University's history, at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond. 

The Campaign's goal of $330,500,000 will be raised through 
twenty focused mini-campaigns by June 30, 2007. Chaired by 
Tom '76BS/B and Vickie '76BS/B Snead for the Academic 
Campus and Charlotte and Jim Roberts for the VCU Health 
System, the Campaign for VCU had already raised $187 million 
by May, exceeding the $167 million raised for VCU's Partners for 
Progress campaign, which ended in 1999. 

"This ambitious campaign," said VCU President Eugene Trani, 
"vdll help us fight the war on cancer, relieve the national nursing 
shortage, and improve patient treatment and care. The planned 
Monroe Campus [see back cover] will provide businesses with skilled 
and motivated executives and proficient engineers. The Campaign 
for VCU will establish Central Virginia as a national leader in Life 
Science. It will grant greater access to the fulfillment of the American 
dream through scholarships; attract bright and ambitious students 
and faculty to our community; and enrich cultural life not only in 
Virginia but nationally and internationally." 

The Campaign for VCU builds on the ttemendous success of 
Partners for Progress. With those fijnds, VCU added to endowed 
funds for Professorships, Chairs, Lectureships and Scholarships. 
VCU established a new School of Engineering, creating a $31 
million, state-of-the-art facility. VCU made numerous capital 
improvements on both campuses, including the MCV Alumni 
House and Paul Gross Conference Center, the Stuart C. Siegel 
Center, Biotech Two of the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park, 
the Richard T. Robertson Alumni House, and the Fine Arts Building. 
VCU added more degree and certificate options for our students and 
community; and the Campaign created a higher profile for VCU 
throughout Richmond, Virginia, and the country. 

"Tom and I were so impressed vnth the accomplishments of 
the Partners for Progress Campaign that we were truly honored 
and excited to be asked to co-chair this campaign," said Vickie 
Snead. "As proud VCU alumni, we are more than happy to give 
back to an institution which has given us so much opportunity 
and which provides Richmond and the Commonwealth with so 
many economic, social, health and artistic opportunities." 

"Due to severe state funding cutbacks, it is more important than 
ever to build the University's endowments and levels of private 
support," remarked Jim Roberts, president of the Theresa A. Thomas 
Memorial Foundation and campaign co-chair for the VCU Health 
System. "VCU graduates are some of the most dedicated and com- 
mitted alumni I have ever seen. Their generosity and support will 
have a huge impact on the success of this campaign." 

"The Campaign for VCU is not just about numbers," Trani 
emphasized. "It is about giving to preserve an ideal, to honor and 
remember someone's life and achievements, to make a statement 
for future generations, to give a helping hand, to relieve suffering 
through quality care and leading edge research, and to improve our 
quality of life through cultural enrichment." 

For updates and more information about the Campaign for VCU, 
visit www.vcu.edu/campaign. 



An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action University 



f'-"'i£iiL:LL2LliLL':iiiL!^ I 




Volume 9, Number 2 | 



CONNECTIONS 



Insider Artists 




Forensic Files: VCU 



/. 



Rowing Upstream 

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:> E M A H f'l E Y 



^ Kigl||^ Person at the Right Time 



P.O. Box 843044 


2 


University News 


3 


Alumni News 


27 


Post Grad 


31 


Post Grad 


34 





Cover: Details of work by sculptors Morgan Kennedy 'OOMFA, George Ferrandi '93BFA, 
Alessandra Torres '04MFA, Claire Watkins '04MFA, Shannon Wright '90BFA and first-year 
graduate student Gabriel Bennett. Background photo by Kevin Schindler '89BFA. 

Stay Connected. At www.VCU-IVICVAlumni.org, VCUAA members 
can get low-cost internet service through vcu.org. 



Shafer Court Connections is 
a magazine for alumni and 
friends of the Academic Campus of 
Virginia Commonwealth University 
in Richmond. VCU is a Carnegie One 
Research University with an enroll- 
ment of 26,700 students on the 
Academic and Medical College of 
Virginia Campuses. The magazine is 
published twice a year by VCU 
Alumni Activities, 

staff 
MARY ELLEN MERCER 

EDITOR 

BEN CORNATZER 

ART DIRECTOR 

STACY HEBERT 

ALUMNI NOTES 

JORIEL FOLTZ 

UNIVERSITY NEWS 

DIANE STOUT BROWN 

INTERIM DIRECTOR OF ALUMNI ACTIVITIES 

Contact VCU Alumni Activities at 

924 West Franklin Street 

P.O. Box 843044 

Richmond, VA 23284-3044. 

Email: VCU-ALUMCjvcu.edu. 
Phone (804) VCU-ALUM 

1828-2586) 

fax (804) 828-8197 
Website: www.vcu-mcvalumni.org 




Copyright © 2004 by Virginia Commonwealth University. 



PO BOX 843044 



J 



You gave a lot of space in the Fall 2003 
issue of Shafer Court Coimectiom to those 
who oppose our nation's deposing an evil 
regime in Iraq. Are you attempting to 
promote their agenda? Oftimes those 
who see so much evil in our institutions 
and so much virtue in themselves are the 
most corrupt among us. 

For these people to call themselves 
patriotic and supporters of our troops is 
ludicrous. Their demonstrations and criti- 
cism of our government will only encour- 
age those who take great delight in killing 
Americans. The Russian mass murderer 
Lenin had a term of endearment for those 
in free countries who would demonstrate 
against their government's use of the 
military and weapons of destruction 
while he plotted the violent overthrow of 
these same governments. Useful idiots. 

Sincerely, 

MarshaU S. Vaughan '66BS '69MS/B 

I just wanted to thank you for the well 
written article, in Shafer Court Connections, 
on BranCore Technologies. 1 had an 
opportunity to read through the entire 
publication and 1 am sure you are very 
pleased as well. I have received compli- 
ments from a great deal of people, who 
have read the article, on how well it was 
written. Thanks again on a job well done. 

Glenn Davis '86BS/B 

President, BranCore Technologies 

The article about the Writing Center in 
Hibbs in the fall issue of Shafer Court 
Connections reminded me of the classes I 
really loved teaching at VCU in the 1970s 
and '80s. My favorite class, a 101 compo- 
sition, happened to be located in a class- 
room aaoss from the Writing Center. Yes, 
I enjoyed many aspects of that job! 

The article about Elizabeth King, the 
sculptor, is also fascinating. How interest- 
ing it must be to be editing the magazine. 
Everything that goes on at the school 
becomes your subject. 

1 receive at least two alumni magazines, 
but yours seems. . . well, just a little bit 
warmer than the others. The touches of 
humor throughout the magazine are neat. 

Martha Ragland 

Portland, OR 

The article about my work in the fall issue 
of Shafer Court Connectiom is wonderful! 
My principal is particularly pleased at the 
accuracy of information. I've sent copies 
to Toyota TIME and Dominion Resources, 
and 1 know they will be thrilled to see it. 
1 have also forwarded copies to the Title I 
supervisor and the Henrico County 
director of Elementary Education. My 
parents have a copy, too. My own 
children were very excited to see Mommy 
in a magazine! 



I am thrilled and honored to be 
included in the article. Thank you so 
much for taking the time to recognize me. 
Your magazine is excellent! 

Lisa Hall '93MED 

Title I Math Teacher 
Adams Elementary School 
Henrico County, Virginia 





Monday Morning, oil on canvas by Diane Fryleman 

Birthday Exhibit 

Ten years ago, the School of the Arts and 
the Office of Community Programs 
created an off-campus graduate art 
program, offering classes to art teachers 
and other artists in public school art 
studios from Northern Virginia to 
Virginia Beach. Now, more than 200 
students take classes each semester in 
painting and drawing, crafts, computer 
arts and art education; and VCU offers a 
Master of Art Education and Master of 
Interdisciplinary Studies in the Fine Arts. 
Get a look at the best of alumni work 
in the "VCU/MIS Tenth Anniversary 
Exhibition" at the Verizon Gallery of the 
Northern Virginia Community College, 
Annandale Campus, July 12-August 6. 
Jurors are Washington Post art critic 
Michael O'Sullivan and art writer and 
curator Sara Tanguy. 

Art in Miniature 

Phil Meggs '64BFA '71MFA, VCU faculty 
member and chair of communication arts 
and design who died of leukemia 
November 24, 2002, was posthumously 
awarded the U.S. Postal Service's Medal of 
Freedom. From 1993 until his death, 
Meggs served on the Citizens' Stamp 
Advisory Committee, which recommends 
designs for stamps. Postmaster General 
John Potter commented, "Many of the 
stamps that travel on the nadon's mail. . . 
will be lasting reminders of Phil's talent 
and special gift for graphic design." 



Commencement Breakfast 

Alumni fed the newest alumni and their 
families before graduation on May 22, when 
VCU awarded more than 2,700 professional, 
graduate and undergraduate degrees. VCU 
conferred more than 1,800 degrees at Fall 
Commencement in December 2003. 

Virginia's Governor Mark Warnertold 
graduates at commencement that VCU's 
tradition of excellence won't continue 
unless they embrace the value of educa- 
tion. "You can't have education on the 
cheap in Virginia," Warner said. "VCU and 
Virginia need you to support public univer- 
sities. Don't sit on the sidelines on this or 
any other issues that shape America's 
future." Warner received an honorary 
doctor of humane letters from VCU. , 

E-xpress! 

Our first issue of an alumni 
e-letter went out this "^ 
spring. Update or sign up 
your email address to 
receive current university 
news and schedules, and 
linkto photos of alumni 
events. What would you 
like to be updated on? Let us know. 
www.vcu-mcvalumni.org 

VCU at Dominion Resources 

Mary Doswell, President of Dominion 
Resources Services, Inc. and wife of Board 
of Visitors member John Doswell '79DDS, 
hosted a reception with President Trani for 
100 VCU alumni employees and guests at 
Dominion Resources on May 24. VCU 
Men's Basketball coach, Jeff Capel, shared 
his pride in VCU players' NCAA trip and 
their academic success this semester. 





SHAFER COURT 



CONNECTIONS 



UNIVERSITY 




L. Douglas Wilder School of 
Government and Public Affairs 

On May 21, VCU's Board of Visitors named VCU's 
new School of Government and Public Affairs 
after L. Douglas Wilder, VCU Distinguished 
Professor and former Virginia Governor. Wilder 
was the first and is still the only African-American 
elected governor in U.S. history, in 1990. During 
his term, Virginia was recognized as the best 
managed state in the country two years in a row. 

Dr. Robert Holsworth, director of the School in 
the College of Humanities and Sciences, notes, 
"Governor Wilder's commitment to the highest 
standards of governmental practice, political 
inclusion and independent thought are core 
values of the School." Wilder has taught at 
VCU for 10 years. 

Keeping Women Healthy 

Janett Forte '87BS/H&S '92MSW is the new coordi- 
nator of the National Center of Excellence (CoE) in 
Women's Health at VCU— one of 19 national 
models for providing comprehensive, integrated 
heath care for women. Forte and her colleagues col- 
laborate with more than sixty multi-disciplinary 
health systems, universities and community groups. 

The CoE Women's Health Care Center at the 
Park at Stony Point is a pilot site for the national 
Health Information Rx project, a partnership with 
VCU's Tomkins-McCaw Library and the National 
Library of Medicine. Through the project physi- 
cians can give their patients comprehensive, 
reliable and easy-to-use health information from 
MEDLINEplus.gov. 

Other recent CoE projects have established 
women's health screenings and referrals at a local 
church; improved services for women veterans at 
risk for homelessness; and offered low-cost or free 
prenatal care for Hispanic women in local clinics. 
The CoE has also submitted several grants for 
programs to prevent violence in families. 

"War and the White House" 

Tom Curley, president and CEO of The 
Associated Press, presented the first Bill 
Turpin Lecture in News Management 
on Febmary 26. Curley, former presi- 
dent and publisher of USA Today, 
discussed recent events in Iraq and 
the relationship between the media 
and the White House in wartime. 
Although "many news division budgets have 
been cut and people have less help overseas," Curley 
was optimistic. "1 think 'free expression' has never 
been freer, and with the internet the barriers 
towards entry are plummeting." 

In his sbcteen years at VCU, the late Dr. 
William Turpin was gum, coach and advisor to 
hundreds of aspiring journalists. His students and 
colleagues established the lecture. 





Open Doors, Enter Community 

VCU's Student Commons is the center of student 
life outside of the classroom and a key to President 
Trani's goal of making VCU "a truly student- 
centered university." The Commons Phase 3 
expansion opened with a weekend of festivities 
April 15-17, including a gala ball and silent auction. 

The open concourse of the new Commons 
entiance encloses the old outdoor walkway, 
offering generous space for the flow of walking 
tiaffic and a larger central Information Center. 
The 39,000 square-foot addition includes a reno- 
vated Park Place Food Court and Commons Cafe, 
a revamped Commons Theater, and an outdoor 
stage in the Commons Plaza. On the second floor, 
high glass windows overlook the Plaza; the 
Richmond Salons is a 4,000 square feet multi-use 
ballroom with a catering kitchen. The James River 
Tenace is a sound-proof study lounge and recep- 
tion area overlooking the main lobby. 

Commons director. Dr. Timothy Reed, points 
out that everyone on campus — students, faculty 
and staff— uses the Commons. "Our Student 
Commons is also the community center for the 
campus; and all the community is welcome." 
VCU Alumni Association President Dr. JoLynne 
DeMary '72MEd represented the alumni commu- 
nity in the dedication and key ceremony April 15. 



Whiting Writer 

Novelist Kwadyo Agymah Kamau, 

MFA'92 received one of ten $35,000 
Whiting Writers' Awards for 2003. 
These awrards support emerging talent 
in fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and play 
writing. Kamau is also VCU's 2004 
Distinguished Alumnus from the College 
of Humanities and Sciences. His two 
award-winning novels are Flickering 
Shadows and Pictures of a Dying Man. 

Design Original 

Buie Harwood. VCU professor of 
interior design, is ttie first to receive the 
Educator of Distinction Award from the 
American Society of Interior Designers. 
She was honored for her wor1< on career 
path standards affecting the excellence 
of future designers. Harwood was depart- 
ment chair 1997-03 and helped develop 
the VCU-Qatar School of Design Arts. 

Destination ImagiNation 

The VCU Alumni Association hosted 
3,000 elementary, middle and high 
school students swarming across 
campus on April 24. The kids tested their 
skills and creativity at the state finals of 
Destination ImagiNation,. Teamwork is 
the key, says Dl Affiliate Director Susan 
Nunemaker '65BS/H&S '87MEd It s 
rare to have a successful team with one 
kid doing all the work." 



Tennis greats Martina Navratilova and Monica Seles entertained 2,700 specta- 
tors at an exhibition match at the Siegel Center, March 22. The event was part of 
the " Raise a Racquet! " series coordinated by the VCU SportsCenter to promote 
tennis in Richmond, while raising money for VCU, Advantage Virginia and The 
McCormack Foundation. On March 21, graduate students in sports management 
coordinated a silent auction and gala dinner where guests mingled with Seles and 
Navratilova and bid on over 1 50 auction items, from laser eye surgery to golf clubs. 

The McCormack Foundation supports educational, sports and service chanties. 
Advantage Virginia fosters world-class tennis in Virginia and brings tennis and 
tutoring to Richmond youth through "Lobs & Lessons." 

On September 1 7, six-time Grand Slam title winner Serena 
Williams will play comeback phenomenon Jennifer Capriati 
at the Siegel Center at the Anthem LIVE! fundraiser for the 
Massey Cancer Center. Tickets at Ticketmaster; box seats 
through the Massey Cancer Center development office, 
(804) 828O034. 

SUMMER 3 2004 



isfi i limi 






Alumni perspective— photo from the roofoftiie Allm^m House. 

Roll Call 

Dr. Edward Bersoff. a Northern 
Virginia entrepreneur and business con- 
sultant, was elected rector of the VCU 
Board of Visitors in May. He is founder 
and chair of Greenwich Associates, a 
consulting firm in McLean, VA. 

Dr. John Borgard, associate dean of 
undergraduate academic affairs in the 
College of Humanities and Sciences, is 
retiring July 1 . He came to VCU in 
August, 1971 as an assistant dean in the 
then School of Arts and Sciences. In 33 
years he oversaw two major cuniculum 
changes in General Education: co- 
chaired revamping of the student infor- 
mation system: and helped develop the 
English Language Program at VCU and 
the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies 
(formerly BGS|. An advocate for quality 
advising, Borgard "treasures the time 
that I was able to spend with students 
to give them the direction they needed 
to tal<e the next step." 



On Friday, March 26, student apartments under construction by RAMZ 
at the southeast corner of Shafer and Broad Streets caught fire - 
apparently started by cigarette butts discarded in a packed trash chute. 
In minutes there was a roaring, billowing conflagration. 

Nearby buildings, including the Fine Arts Building, student apart- 
ments at 1 100 West Broad, the VCU Bookstore and the West Broad 
Parking Deck, were quickly evacuated. Art students stumbled out into 
the black smoke on Broad Street, astonished — but carrying video and 
still cameras. Most workers were on lunch break; those in the struc- 
ture left quickly by cement staircases. 

As the construction site blazed, wind gusts to 30 mph blew 
chunks of burning insulation across Broad Street, first to the roof of the 
Fine Arts Building and the buildings east of it, and north to houses and 
businesses in the Carver neighborhood. Debris from the fire even blew 
across interstate 95 and started a small fire at a warehouse. 

It took three hours for Fire Departments of Richmond, Henrico, 
Chesterfield, Hanover and Charles City to bring the fire under control. 
One person, a neighbor on an oxygen system, died when power was 
turned off as a precaution. In the city's worst fire in 30 years, 29 build- 
ings, including homes and businesses, and 22 cars were destroyed or damaged. 

VCU's Incident Response Team, directed by Senior Vice President Paul Timmreck, went into 
high gear. With cots from the Red Cross, the Siegel Center was ready to house students who 
could not return to apartments. By evening, VCU students living in 1 1 00 West Broad Apartments 
were able to return to their dorm rooms. For Carver neighbors, VCU Facilities Management crews 
made temporan/ repairs and helped move belongings to safe storage. 

Although the blaze made a hole 30'x 40' in the roof of the Fine Arts Building, and the heat blew 
out windows, there was miraculously little smoke and water damage. Crews cleared broken glass, 
and classrooms and studios were open on Monday. Timmreck estimates repairs at $1 million, to 
be covered by the builder's insurer. He adds, "We dodged a huge silver bullet on this." 

RAMZ and VCU explained that the fire was so severe because of the stage of the building, 
before sheetrock walls were up and before spnnklers were in. In April, when Richmond inspectors 
rechecked building plans, they found that the structure was not built to city code for a five-ston/ 
building. Exterior walls should have been concrete, masonry or built with steel-framing, not lumber. 
City inspectors plan to tighten their process. Timmreck is confident that the dorm will be safe, 
and VCU has offered RAMZ a full-time inspector during rebuilding. In the meantime, VCU will find 
other housing for 1 72 students who planned to live in the apartments this fall. 
As for similar dorms built recently, Timmreck says, "We're very satisfied. . 



■We believe they're 



done to code. They're safe." 



Dr. Timothy Hulsey plans to create a 
new vision for the VCU Honors Program, 
where he became the new director in 
January. He had been director of the 
University Honors program at Texas 
State University since 2001 . 

James Potyraj brings more than 20 
years of experience in physician group 
practice administration to his new role 
as Executive Director of MCV Physicians 
IMCVP), the faculty practice plan of the 
VCU Health System. He is also associate 
dean of the VCU School of Medicine. 

After 21 years on VCU's mass communi- 
cations faculty. Dr. David Kennamar is 

retiring to Portland, Oregon, Kennamar 
has taught graduate and undergraduate 
classes, as well as assisting with the 
PhD program in public policy and admin- 
istratiof In 1S94, he was a Fulbright 
Teaching Fellow in Argentina, He was 
senior reiearch associate in VCU's 
Survey aric! Evaluation Research 
Laboratory 'or a decade, and served as 
associate di.'entor and graduate studies 
coordinator for the School of Mass 
Communications, as well as director of 
International and Area Studies for the 
College of Humanities and Sciences. 



To help Carver neigtibors, write cliecks to the VCU Foundation; notation Carver Relief Fund. Mail to 
VCU Foundation: Carver Community Relief Fund; P.O. Box 843042; Richmond VA 23284-3042. 
Or call (804) 828-8850. By May, $86,689.20 had been collected. 




Crossing Boundaries 

"Is the world a safer place 

without Saddam Hussein?" 

Hans Blix asked 1,000 people at 

the Siegel Center April 22. "It 

doesn't look that way." The 

former chief U.N. weapons 

inspector and chair of the 

International Commission on 

Weapons of Mass Destruction discussed his new 

book, Disarming Iraq, and spoke of possibilities for 

facilitating world peace. 

The current U.S. administration, Blix said, 
exaggerated the case for war after U.N. inspectors 
found no clear evidence of weapons of mass 
destruction in Iraq, The govemment, he said, was 
"putting exclamation points where they should 
have put question marks." One lesson of the war, 
Blix commented, is that international inspection 
teams came closer to the reality in Iraq than 
national intelligence agencies did. 

His lecture was part of VCU's Crossing 
Boundaries — a yearlong series on global issues 



sponsored by the School of World Studies 
and the Honors Program, funded by 
National Endowment for the Humanities. 

www.lws.vai.ediiAvld 

Provost to President 

VCU's Provost, Dr. Roderick McDavis, will 
leave VCU to take over the presidency of 
Ohio University, his alma mater, on July 
1. McDavis has been VCU's 
provost since 1999. During his 
tenure, VCU Life Sciences was 
established; 20 academic 
programs, including six 
doctoral programs, were 
approved; and student engage- 
ment on campus was dramati- 
cally enhanced, 

OU Board Chair Robert 
Walter said McDavis "has the distinctive profes- 
sional and personal skills and vision to continue 
[OU's] legacy of strong presidential leadership." 




SHAFER COURT 4 CONNECTIONS 




u 

VCU Athletics has seen tremendous success in the past two years, 
highlighted by the Men's Basketball team's Colonial Athletic Association 
championship and subsequent trip to the NCAA Tournament. Many 
Rams fans traveled to Raleigh, N.C. to see 13th-seeded VCU face 
fourth-seeded Wake Forest of the ACC. After struggling at the start, the 
Rams led 37-34 at halftime. VCU was ahead by six with less than eight 
minutes remaining before the Demon Deacons pulled out a 79-78 
victon/. Senior guard Demonic Jones, 
CAA Player of the Year and honorable 
mention All-Amencan, paced the Rams 
with 22 points and seven assists. 

Courted by other schools, head 
coach Jeff Capel chose VCU for six more 
years. "The bottom line is that I love 
where I am. And most importantly, I love 
my team. We're in the process here of 
building something really special and i want to be a part of that." 

VCU Alumni Association president Bill Ginther '69BS 74MS/B 
made the trip to Raleigh. He commented, "Maybe we lost, but it 
sure feels like we won! " VCU teams who go to the NCAA tradition- 
ally receive commemorative rings. The Alumni Association will buy 
the nngs and present them to the players next fall. 

Men's Tennis, under CAA Coach of the 

Year Paul Kostin, won its ninth consecutive conference title with a 4-2 
win over Old Dominion on April 25. VCU earned an automatic bid to the 
NCAA Tournament. 

Last fall. Men's Soccer won the CAA regular-season and tournament 
titles for the second year in a row. The Rams won a school-record 1 7 
matches and climbed to #7 in the national polls. Seeded #9 in the NCAA 
Tournament, VCU lost in the third round to eventual national champion 
Indiana. Matthew Delicate was 2003 CAA Player of the Year and second 
team All-America. 

Men's Track and Field finished second at CAA Championships in April. 
Freshman Davion Lambert won the long jump and qualified for NCAA 
Regionals in May. The freshman 4x100 team of James Frierson, Eric 
Coleman, Marcus Tyus and Juron Williams set a Sports Backers Stadium 
record and qualified for NCAA Regionals. In Women's Track and Field, 
sophomore Tanika Brown placed second at the CAA Championships in 
the high jump and qualified for NCAA Regionals. She was first at NCAA 
Regionals a year ago and advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field 
championships. 



Biomedical Elite 

Dr. Jennifer Wayne, director of VCU's 
Ortliopaedic Research Laboratory, has 
been elected to the American Institute for 
Medical and Biological Engineering's 
College of Fellows, Its members are the top 
1 .5 percent of U.S. biomedical engineers. 
"I chose this career because I enjoy 
it, so it's rewarding to be recognized," 
said Wayne. Her current projects include 
using computer models to help repair 
damaged cartilage and determining the 
biomechanical consequences of tissue 
damage in joints 





VCU's Budget Increasing 

On May 7, Virginia's legislators finally agreed on a 
compromise budget for 2004-06. It was certainly 
worth the wait for VCU, Virginia higher education, 
and citizens using those intellectual resources. 

With new funding for base operating of $7.2 
million in 2004-05 and $15.1 million in 2005-06, 
VCU can re-invest in program initiatives and high 
priority needs. VCU moves forward with Momoe 
Campus plans (see back cover), with $15.3 million 
for the School of Business from state-financed 
bond proceeds; $14 million in University-support- 
ed revenue bonds for Monroe Campus Parking 
Deck (800 cars); and the use of $5 million from 
University financing for land acquisition. The 
capital budget also includes authorization of 
$20.7million for Academic Campus Housing for 
400 students using University-supported revenue 
bonds and $1.6 million to construct the headquar- 
ters for the Department of Game and Inland 
Fisheries at the Rice Center. The capital budget 
includes authorization as well for VCU to fund $8 
million for a world class Tennis Complex and $5 
million for land acquisition. 



The level of state support for VCU's budget will 
increase signiflcantiy in 2004-06-the result of years 
of effective communication with the Governor, his 
Cabinet and the General Assembly — and thanks to 
alumni urging their legislators to increase funding 
for VCU. More details at wwH'.va(.edii/finauce/pdf/ 
presummgermssenibly04-06.pdf 

World News Tonight! 

Twelve television monitors in Cabell Library's 
Intemational Newsroom connect users to more 
than 60 channels worldwide, including stations 
in Iran, Israel and other parts of the Middle East, 
as well as Taiwan, Korea, Romania, Georgia and 
Italy. The superlink targets intemational students; 
students in World Studies; students of internation- 
al politics, languages and culture; Mass Communi- 
cations students of comparative journalism; and 
many others with interest (and language skills!) in 
intemational affairs. Monitors in the Office of 
Intemational Programs and the School of World 
Studies give students even more access. 
http:/Avww.library.vai.edii/jbc/newsroom/channels.httnI 



Weekend Home 

Researchers have estimated that 
families account for 40 percent of the 
homeless population, the fastest 
growing segment. 

Since 1998, with the help of VCU 
social work students like Bernell Turner 
(center). Dr. Timothy Davey has led 
weekend retreats to help strengthen 
homeless families and address some of 
the psychosocial problems that homeless 
parents and their children experience 

"The activities in the retreat setting 
can often help families temporarily 
forget some of the ever/day issues they 
face and instead enjoy just being with 
their family members again," says 
Davey, The respite also gives families 
some practice in skills to help them 
function better. VCU students learn 
group skills through actual experience. 

Unreconstructed 

VCU historian Dr Ted Tunnell discussed 
Reconstruction, the tragic penod follow- 
ing the Civil War, on the national PBS 
series American Experience in January. 
Tunnell argued against the stereotype 
of Northern "carpetbaggers" as 
unprincipled scoundrels who came 
to the South to profit at the expense 
of war-ravaged whites. 

Tunnell's book. Edge of the Sword, 
is a biography of Marshall Harvey 
Twitchell. a Union veteran from Vermont 
who took a job in Lousiana in the newly 
created Freedmen's Bureau "He doesn't 
know it," Tunnell told viewers, "but he 
is in what is probably the most violent 
place in America " 

Twitchell settled in, married, 
bought a plantation and brought his 
family from the North, giving them jobs. 
While struggling to ensure the rights 
of blacks. Twitchell raised the ire of the 
region's formerly wealthy planters, A 
mob of angry whites slaughtered his 
brother and brothers-in-law, along with 
two others. This "Terrorism in the South," 
as one newspaper headline declared, 
horrified a nation inured to violence. 



SUMMER 5 2004 



The Devil Goes Down 

Down Seat magazine gave a four-star 
rating to Idle Hands, the first CD from 
Devil's Workshop, an ensemble fea- 
turing many current and former VCU 
students. The February review described 
the band as "a nicely tongue-in-cheek 
17-piece teeming with Ideas, energy, 
and, I suspect from the rapturous recep- 
tion at this live date In Virginia, jam 
band appeal." The CD features eight 
tunes by the group plus an original by 
pianist Daniel Clarke OIBM/A 
Devil's Workshop performs weekly at 
Bogart's Back Room in Richmond, 



olia 1^ 




Every Breath You Take. . . 
Shirley Verrett, one of the first African- 
American opera stars, presented a 
master class at VCU on February 28, part 
of a special series celebrating VCU's 
new African American Studies major, 
VCU President Eugene Trani awarded 
Verrett an honorary doctorate in humane 
letters at a reception after the class, 
Verrett co-wrote her autobiography I 
Never Walked Alone, with Or, 
Christopher Brooks, VCU associate pro- 
fessor of African American studies and 
anthropology 

Verrett focused on the physical 
aspects of vocal tone production, 
pressing her hands against singers' 
stomachs and peering into their mouths 
to check technique, "I thought my heart 
was going to jump out of my chest," said 
junior soprano Tiara Walker, "But I 
couldn't take my eyes off her, and soon 
my love of singing took over and the 
tension went away," 

"She's a lot braver than I am," 
commented President Trani, 

Les Chevaliers 

At VCU's 12th annual French Film 
Festival in March, Drs. Peter and 
Franpoise Kirkpatrick, festival 
founders and directors, were decorated 
as Chevaliers dans I'Ordre des Arts et 
des Lettres by the French Ambassador to 
the U,S,, Jean-David Levitte, The festival 
has brought 130 French and francophone 
films to America, introduced by their 
directors, actors and writers, 

Peter Kirkpatrick is executive director 
of VCU's Office of International 
Education, Fran^oise Ravaux-Kirkpatrick 
is professor of French at the University of 
Richmond. American 

Ny[^ i chevaliers Include 

^Qg '* TonI Morrison and 
■■ T Robert Bedford. 



World-renowned designers gathered in Doha, Qatar, February 23-26 for Tasnneenn 
Doha 2004, Qatar's first international design conference hosted by the VCU School 
of the Arts in Qatar with the Qatar Ministry of Civil Service Affairs and Housing. The 
design conference-a rarity in this part of the world-explored the role of design in 
guiding and securing the cultural identity of a country, especially one changing as 
rapidly as Qatar. 

"Design is an expression of values," said Mary McLaughlin, associate dean for 
academic affairs, VCU-Qatar. The conference goal, she said, was to show the 250 
design professionals, students and faculty attendees "the benefits of being in 
charge of their own cultural values, as expressed in their design work." 

Conference speakers included Iranian-born Gisue Hariri. In 1986 she and her 
sister Mojgan established Hariri & Hariri Architecture in New York City, dedicated to 
research and construction of innovative ideas. "Go back in history and examine what 
IS essential for our buildings and use them in an innovative way," Hariri told confer- 
ence participants. "Modern doesn't mean westernized. You should capture the 
essence of your culture and transform it into onginal works." 

New York-based industrial designer Karim Rashid's clients include Prada, Issey 
Miyake and Shiseido. Don't follow styles, he told designers, because every style is 
locked into a specific period. "We are steeped so deeply in nostalgia and don't want 
to let go of the past, which is hindering our moving into the future." 

Qther speakers included evening and bridal wear designer Reem Acra; 
Lebanese designer of print and interactive graphics Tarek Atrissi; Canadian graphic 
designer David Berman; MoMA curator of Architecture and Design Paola Antonelli; 
and renowned fashion merchandiser Joseph Johnson. 




Gisue Hann 




Karim Rcishid 




Dancing with Horses 

A goal of 'VCU's Department of Dance and 
Choreography is to stretch the idea of "what 
dance can be, where dance can happen, and who 
can dance," says department chair Martha Curtis. 
For hitting the home stretch, you could hardly 
beat the April performance of Dancing with 
Horses, Equus I, at an equestrian center in 
Manakin-Sabot. 

Called "an astonishing effort" by Dimce 
Magazine, the Dancing with Horses company 
partners dancers with horses and riders to reveal 
the relationship between horse and human. 
"There is a generosity that we're asking from the 
dancers," says Artisttc Director JoAnna Mendl 
Shaw. "You have to become the creature,... to shed 
the ego thinking that only we as humans matter." 

The company developed Equus 1 during its 
research residency at VCU, Fifteen VCU dance 
majors danced in Equus I with local riders, 
company dancers, Equestrian Collaborator 
Maddrey Baker — and the horses. Integrated with 
the dance were prerecorded and live video close- 
ups by Peter Richards. DWH also did a workshop 
with school children and a clinic for riders during 
the residency. 

Student dancers performed at the Kennedy 
Center on June 1 when VCU was one of eight 
schools chosen for a National Celebration of 
University Dance. 



Connecting Autistic Children 

VCU professor of pediatrics Dr. Mary Megson 
rejects the widely accepted hypothesis that autistic 
children perceive other people as objects and are 
unable to understand that others have their own 
thoughts and viewpoints. Megson believes that 
the children's apparently alienated behavior is a 
rarional response to terrifying visual difficulties. 

Megson presented evidence from her practice 
at a recent conference on nutrittonal psychiatry in 
London. Although several large-scale studies refute 
her theory, Megson believes that vaccination is at 
least one factor fueling a dramaric rise in autism. 

Megson suspects that some children have a 
genetic susceptibility to vaccines that damage G 
proteins. The damage impairs the retinal cells that 
convey shading and depth. As a result, these 
children have only a tiny window of clear three- 
dimensional vision, surrounded by vague shapes 
and colors. They cannot follow movement, espe- 
cially subtleties of facial expression, and desper- 
ately seek the comfort of familiar patterns. 

Megson treats her patients with unsaturated 
"cis" vitamin A (found in salmon, cod, liver) to get 
G-protein pathways working again. "The results 
can be dramatic," says Megson. "Within a few 
days, these children regain eye contact. They may 
start looking at their mother and speaking. 
Watching it happen, you get a stiong sense of 
something being unblocked." 

Wai<e Up, Romania! 

Mad Forest, a play about Romania's revolution in 
1989-90, directed at VCU this spring by Janet 
Rodgers with a cast of Romanian and VCU 
student actors, will play at the International 
Theatie Festival in Sibiu, Romania, in June, part 
of a long exchange between Theatie VCU and 
Sibiu actors. 

Rodgers, head of voice and speech training in 
the Theatre Department, will stay in Sibiu as a 
Fulbright Scholar to work with student actors at 
Lucian Blaga University during fall, 2004. 



SHAFER. COURT 6 CONNECTIONS 




How do you get 
number one sculp 
inthecou 




BY MEG M 




■^■■^ 



from outltown. 



For the past ten years, VCU's Sculpture U^pMitoent has 
moved steadily from a small department irt a mid-sized, 
conservative city to a nationally-recognized ioice. In April 
2003, VCU's Sculpture Department was ranked by 17.5. New5\^/^ 
&VVbrWJRepo^t as the best graduate sculpture program in ' 
the country, topping Yale and the School of the Art Institute 
of Chicago. A visionary style of administration, a stellar 
faculty, and top facilities for making art have made VCU's 
department a winner. : - • ::-■ "' 

The philosophy driving the program is about fully 
preparing students for the realities of a life in art. "You 
can't let the students walk out of here and feel like outsiders," 
insists Joe Seipel, senior associate dean of the School of the 
Arts. "We need to provide as much as possible a seamless 
fransition to the professional world. " , ,. : '>- 

Seipel was a member of the sculpture faculty for 28 years 
and chair for 17, until he left the department three years ago 
to become senior associate dean and director of Graduate 
Studies for VCU's art school. In 2001 he received the 
Sculpture Educator Lifetime Achievement Award from The 
International Sculpture Center — thanks, he said, to "terrific 
faculty and alumni artists showing work all over the world." 
He is also a working and exhibiting sculptor and president of 
the National Council of Arts 
Adminisfrators (museum "^ / /^ni sa?^ 
curators and directors, art 
school deans and chairs). 



# 




a.<^ 



SUMMER 7 2 04 



His colleagues and alumni credit him with much of 
the energy and impetus that put VCU Sculpture on the 
pedestal. "It's comforting to know he's in the Dean's 
Office," says Acting Chair Lester Van Winkle, "because 
he's an incredibly talented administrator." Alumna 
George Ferrandi '93 BFA seconds that. "Joe is revolu- 
tionary in administration. He supports the faculty and 
the students and prioritizes the art." 

Characteristically, Seipel emphasizes the group effort. 
"About ten years ago, we, as a faculty, decided to take the 
program national," he begins. 

Get Outta Town! 

The department mantra became Get out oftowi. "Faculty 
and students really have to look at what's happening 
around the country and internationally," Seipel explains. 
"Richmond is located so that people in this department 
get out of town all the time to places like DC and New 
York. We promote that. The work — professional work — is 
of the utmost concern, especially for faculty because they 
are role models for the students." 

The fuU time faculty of six includes Seipel; and VCU 
is currently hiring another. They are all working and 
exhibiting artists with hefty accomplishments we can 
only sample here. Acting department chair Lester Van 
Winkle has an exttaordinary body of work shown inter- 
nationally and found in public collections like the 
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the National 
Collection of American Arts as well as in 70 private col- 
lections. He was VCU's Distinguished Teacher for 2003. 
Elizabeth King is a 2003 Guggenheim Fellow with work 
in collections of New York's Mettopolitan Museum of Art 
and the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington and a book. 





Attmtion's Loop. Carlton Newton 
is assistant chair of sculpture and 
directs digital media for the depart- 
ment. Newton received the American 
Academy in Rome Prize in sculpture 
and has exhibited at The New 
Museum in New York and The 
Contemporary Arts Center in 
New Orleans. 

Chuck Henry's work was part of 
the 2002 International Digital Art 
Awards show which traveled across 
Austtalia, then to the International 
Digital Biennale in St. Petersberg, 
Russia and to galleries across Europe. 
Kendall Buster joined the faculty in 
2002. Recentiy, she finished a large 
scale sculpture commissioned by the 
DC Convention Center in 
Washington and participated in 0pm 
Ciraiit, an international show at the 
NSA in Durban, South Africa. 

VCU faculty also became a notable presence at con- 
ferences. "Our tiavel budget went from $300 a year to 
$10,000," says Seipel. "When we orgaiuzed a panel, we 
asked the chairs of the top five sculpture programs, or the 
top art school deans to participate. That made our pre- 
sentations more sophisticated and substantial, and gave 
our faculty connections with top schools and administia- 
tors." Excellence generated even more interest, so "our 
reputation snowballed." 

New York Comes to Richmond 



An ingenious pragmatism is typical of 
the Sculpture Department's operations 
and co-operations, within in the art 
school and with other arts groups like 
the Virginia Museum and the Virgima 
Review. Seipel and Richard Roth, chair of 
VCU's Department of Painting and 
Printmaking (tied for number 10 with 
Cranbrook Academy of Art in the U.S. 
News list), pooled resources to bring New 
York and Los Angeles, Europe, Asia and 
South America to Richmond. Artists like 
Ann Hamilton, James Hyde, Sheila Pepe, 
James Siena; gallery owners; even poet- 
critics like John Ashberry and the New 
Yorker's Peter Schjeldahl have come to 
campus to work with VCU students. 

"We did it by accommodating busy, 
working artists who could come for only 
compacted periods," explains Seipel. 

1^ Detail of Possess/Pose Us detail by 
Alessandra Torres, at work above. 



SHAFER COURT 8 CONNECTIONS 



"We just said, 'Okay, what fits your schedule?'" Instead 
of full semester on-campus residency, an artist might 
come two or three times for four six-hour days. 

"The first year I think we had 38 visiting artists. It 
was really a lot of work, I have to admit. The graduate 
students were begging for mercy. But it was wonderful 
work. The students need to see that these are people, 
not icons." 



Artists' Structures 



Still, artists get the most from out of town experience 
only with a solid grounding, a home base, physically and 
theoretically where they can develop their own artistic 
identity. VCU's Sculpture Department faculty and facili- 
ties keep young artists working productively on campus 
to discover and express and refine their art. 

Stroll through VCU's Fine Arts Building, opened in 
1999, and it's easy to feel the energy of the place. Part 
glassy office building and part clanging factory, the 
building pulses with the whir of sewing machines and 
the buzz of power saws. Students mill from space to 
space, talking, lugging work to critique rooms, or reading 
magazines about contemporary artists in other cities. 
Others are lost in thought inside their studios, a funky 
shantytown of cement spaces divided by plywood and 
gates. Porcelain torsos, enormous pink foam feet, dresses 
made of cellophane stand, lean and lie about — found 
treasure destined to become someone's personal state- 
ment about the world we occupy. 

First-rate facilities include tools like the induction 
foundry for melting large cmcibles of metal or the 3- 
dimensional laser scanner to name just two — a relief 
from strained quarters during the '90s. As VCU's School 
of the Arts grew to one of the largest in the country, 
departments and studios had overflowed the Theresa 
Pollak Building into basements and odd spaces through- 
out the Academic Campus. 

Fenandi laughs remembering the "crazy old 
building" at Shafer and Broad Streets. For several years 
before its demise, the patchwork building was adorned 
by a weird chute structure in the yard, with a kind of 
papier mache chicken perched on top. A warren of corri- 
dors was rife with odd twists and "all these enigmatic 
back stairwells," says Fenandi. On the other hand, "it was 
a great place to make art," she says. "You couldn't 
possibly mess it up. You could almost cut out walls for a 
performance if you wanted to." 

While no one contemplates slicing through drywall 
in the Fine Arts Building these days, the faculty agrees 
that the new facility has had a tremendous impact, and 
not only because of terrific tools. 

"This building really changed the whole nature of our 
.work," says Van Winkle; "there's an amazing cross-fertil- 
ization." Elizabeth King continues, "It's richer to have 
momentum all going on in the same building. Ideas 



beget ideas. It's a kind of spawning and artistic develop- 
ment when you see what is going on with your peers." 

Even the department office is placed to encourage 
interaction. It's near the studios in an open, garage-like 
area where students can gather, sprawl, talk, argue and 
groan companionably. It's presided over by Department 
Coordinator Connie Brown, a.k.a. "mom," whose impec- 
cable memory for sculpture alumni and their accom- 
plishments goes back to 1976. 

Crossing disciplines is the key to a recombinant art 
world where borders between arts are constantly shifting 
or dissolving and media mergers abound. The curriculum 
is also structured to encourage cross pollination of art 
forms. "We've 
always called our 
courses simply 
Beginning 
Sculpture or 
Advanced 
Sculpture," says 
King. "Unlike 
other schools, we 
don't differentiate 
between the dif- 
ferent kinds of 
practice. Instead, a 
given class of 
students is cri- 
tiquing every- 
thing from 
bronze, to 
computer pieces, 
installations and 
performance. 
We've chosen 
to have students 
talk to each other across those lines." 

Students move even more freely among the media 
they imagine because of another practical innovation. 
The six-week technical modules cover specific skills, from 
welding, to video editing, to flexible mold making and 
machining. "The idea was that you could plug in as you 
need them," Seipel explains. "Several universities use this 
model now. But you could say it wasn't necessarily 
embraced by the former administration when we first 
proposed it." 

The modules gave installation artist Alessandra 
Torres '04MFA a huge advantage for her room-sized 
works with multiple components. Whether she's creating 
porcelain forms or welding wheels to a mannequin, her 
transformation of space relies on everything from sewing 
skills to ceramics and glass blowing. And she's a stickler 
for quality. "1 want a welder to be able to look at my 
work and say, 'She really knows what she's doing.' You 
really learn to do things correctiy here," she says. 




Claire Watkitts '04MFA makes delicate 
nmrosensory-like webs of intricate connection. 



SUMMER 9 2004 



X^ 



TheWoikofAit 



For Shannon Wright '90BFA, now working and 
teaching in San Jose, California, the technical modules 
are an element of a delicate balance at VCU that often 
eludes other art schools. 

"VCU Sculpture is really invested in teaching critical 
theory and fabrication. You can go to a pure 'theor/ school. 
Or there are other schools that focus on making, on tech- 
nique. VCU combines both and takes them seriously." 

That work ethic is ingrained. VCU sculpture students 
work hard — ^very hard. The faculty requires students to 
produce a great deal of work, to glean knowledge from 
every source to do so, and to engage in the very highest 
Socratic dialogue about what they've done. 

"We would like our students to be the authors of 
their education," says King. "They must be responsible 
for what they know, and it includes their engagement 
with the rest of the University, as well. We like them to 
be responsible for finding knowledge, for choosing the 
electives that can be meaningful to the art they make. If 
you have a student who's involved with images from the 
natural world, let's say, they can draw from microbiolo- 
gy. They should take a biology class." 





Visiting Artist Bonnie Collura '94BFA, who also 
holds an MFA from Yale, acknowledges that the work 
load at VCU is intense. But the expectation of complet- 
ing work, coupled with an intense critique process, make 
for a disciplined artist. "I'm glad 1 got the education I 
received in the order I received it. If I hadn't gone to 
VCU first, I don't think I would have developed a true, 
down-to-earth work ethic." 

"It was a work ethic I didn't see anywhere else," 
agrees Wright. "Having the graduate students around 
really helped that. We watched them just live in their 
studios. You learned to work as hard as you could until 
you realized your idea." 

"It's an environment where it's just really cool to be a 
hard working art student. Dilettantes are weeded out 
pretty quickly," Seipel comments. 

Artist Citizens and "the Crit" 

To a tough, unwavering grip on rigor, VCU sculpture 
adds something more that defines its special character. 
"The single most notable quality of this department," 
King says, "is that it has ambition and humanity. A tough 
set of expectations, side by side with good citizenship. 
This is what most distinguishes us." 



Connie Brown adds, "They come in as artistSj- but I 
hope they leave as artist citizens." 

Perhaps "the crit," is where citizenship in VCU's arts 
community exercises its most vigorous and challenging 
support. Easily lasting several hours, the crit is where 
students hear from peers on the progress and impact of 
their work. Faculty and alumni agree that the critique 
process is crucial to developing artists who are self-evalu- 
ators and self-directed. 

"At first it's asking a lot of questions, helping students 
open up just to the task of talking, Collura explains. "It's 
almost a delicate way of building a lace. You keep adding 
threads until you've built something that can hold some 
weight. The more critiques, the more layers, the more - 
beautiful the lace can be." 

"They give you a wink, but they always want more," 
explains Torres about her teachers. "They never leave you 
alone. They seem to say what will move you along." She 
remembers many times Elizabeth King quietiy offered a 
timely point that suddenly helped her resolve a dilemma 
in the work. "It's sometimes scary how well they know 
what 1 need to know." 

Seipel, says Ferrandi, "is wildly charismatic. You are 
sure you're going to have a good time being around him. 
And you do. But more important, his ideas about 
art and how it can be exhibited are pretty bound- 
less. He doesn't buy into preconceived ideas." 

It was no coincidence that the spring Seipel 
received the Sculpture Educator Award, student 
Genevieve Paterson 'OlMFA created a portrait of 
him, a 30' xl2' mg, "made of the hair of 1,500 
dogs," she claimed, that "when freshly laid out in 
the lobby, had a smell that permeated the entire art 
building" — as did Seipel's spirit. The work was titled, of 
course, "Top Dog." 

The faculty is quick to credit the students themselves 
for creating the rich atmosphere." Really magnificent 
students," says Van Winkle, "a fantastic mix." According 
to Seipel, "a reality check" against the outside world is 
necessary to show VCU students "just how good they 
are. Here, they are competing against each other." 

"We're just amazed at the students that we have," 
says King. "Sometimes I think we operate like a starter 
batch of sour dough bread that just keeps going. It's as if 
these graduate students leave behind ghosts that act on 
new students coming in. Sometimes 1 think we on the 
faculty could just keep our mouths shut and it would 
keep going." 

This gifted faculty models the artist citizenship 
they expect from students. This community shares in 
triumphs rather than resenting others' successes, some- 
thing rare in the art world, or any I 
worid. "It's not a zero sum game," 
says Seipel. "When one person ^ 

wins, that doesn't mean someone ': 
has to lose." Carlton Newton men- ^ 
tions his colleagues' generous open- | 




SHAFER COURT 10 CONNECTIONS 




First-year graduate students Diana Al-Hadid, Gabriel Bennett and Tim Devoe learn tedmiques to make their visions acUial in six-week 
modules covering skills from welding to video. 



'hess to new ideas. *We are all allowed to venture out." 

Van Winkle sees tlie unusually supportive campus 
arts community as a legacy of department founder, the 
late Chuck Renick. "Chuck left us with a sense that the 
kids come first. We all think that this institution is bigger 
than any one individual. We do our dead level best to 
keep it rurming smoothly and free of petty issues." 



"FiBShlVle# 



Too often young artists emerging from a campus cocoon, 
however sternly structured, are brought up short to find 
that their life in art also means mnning a small business. 
"They have to understand their options. We have a 
responsibility to make their transition as seamless as 
possible," says Seipel. 

In 2003, the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation 
awarded grants to five art schools— VCU, the Chicago 
School of the Art Institute, Columbia University's School 
of the Arts, CalArts and Parsons School of Design— to 
develop a prototype course to prepare student artists to 
survive in the off-campus art world. 

VCU School of the Arts just completed the first year 
of its Professional Practices course for all MFA candidates. 
Students move through practical topics and exercises in 
portfolio development, oral presentations of their work, 
grant writing, setting up a small business, tax law, and 
intellectual property law. 

Evidently it takes. Conversations with student artists 
like Alessandra Torres bristle with as many grant and 
competition deadlines as art ideas and projects. In fact, 
each serious concept is rapidly followed by a mental list 
of possible funding sources. Tones is a Javits Fellow for 
2003-05. This spring, her work was part of "SuperSalon," 
a group show at Samson Projects in Boston featuring the 
work of artists who studied at The Skowhegan School of 
Painting and Sculpture in summer 2003— where she had 
a VCU-Skowhegan scholarship. 



In 2001, the Departments of Sculptiare and 
Painting/Printinaking parleyed their out of town rela- 
tions into a bold professional leap for MFA graduates. 
They got their students' work "out of town." With some 
hesitancy at first about showing student work in her pro- 
fessional gallery in New York City, Kim Foster agreed to 
work with Seipel's recent graduates. "Fresh Meat" 
debuted in summer 2001. 

"Well, it hit with phenomenal success, and the 
Village Voice called it one of the ten shows to see," Seipel 
says. "Everybody assumed it was a professional show. 
The great thing was that it got this buzz going in New 
York City about VCU. Now Kim is as excited about the 
exhibitions as we are. It's changed. It's something that 
people look forward to." 

Summer shows are no longer enough. "Compound 
Interest" ran this spring at Collaborative Concepts gallery 
in Beacon, New York, with work of eight recent VCU 
visiting artists— Bonnie CoUura, Diana Cooper, James 
Siena, Sheila Pepe, John Newman and others— and work 
they chose by eight VCU graduate students and alumni 
in Sculptiare and Painting/Printinaking: Ginnie Baer 
'03MFA, Ross Bolick, Sarah Brenneman 'OOMFA, Ron 
Johnson '03MFA, David McQueen '03MFA, Sarah 
Peters '03MFA, Claire Watkins and Fernando 
Mastiangelo. A recent review of the exhibition in the 
New York Times gave the exhibition and the ariists even 
greater visibility. 

There is no sign of slowing down. This summer, VCU 
sculpture graduate students are taking the work to 
London. Diana Al-Hadid, Allison Andrews, Sarah 
Bednarek, Gabriel Bennett, Brian Caverly, Jacq Crowley, 
Tim Devoe, Fernando Mastiangelo, Alessandra Torres, 
Claire Watkins, Ruby Westcoat, and Kai Vierstta have 
been chosen to participate in "Madison's Cave," a group 
exhibition at the Keith Talent Gallery in London's East 
End, June 5th to July 11th, 2004. 

Applications continue to soar. Admission to the 
graduate sculpture program has hovered at six percent 



SUMMER 11 2004 



acceptance for several years. This 
winter the school received close to 
200 applications from students 
around the world for only six 
graduate slots in fall 2004. The 
students at the graduate level are 
from a fully international 
pool-many with substantial bodies 
of work and critical recognition. 

From the dean's office, Seipel 
continues to dream new directions 
not just for sculpture but for the 
entire School of the Arts, which had 
four top ten rankings from U.S. 
News. Besides Sculpture and 
Painting/Printmaking, 
Communication Arts and Design 
was ranked 4, and the School of the 
Arts MFA program was 6. To keep 
the momentum, Seipel is establish- 
ing new contacts in California and 
other West Coast states. 

Seipel's favorite daydream these 
days is a VCU presence in New York 
City. "We could have a building there 
to use for a summer MFA program. 
During the rest of the year, our faculty 
and students would have access to it. 
There's an interesting group of artists 
in Brooklyn — in the whole eastern 
corridor — ^who want a graduate 
degree but who don't want to relocate 
or lose their studio," he explains. "It's 
a big hill to climb. Still just in the 
thinking stages." There's no doubt 
he'll figure a way to scale it. 

It's the students who encourage 
him to persevere. "Anyone of these 
students could be an important force 
in the visual arts of our time. They're 
tliat good. And that's what keeps this 
all really exciting." 

Retiring in June, Lester Van 
Winkle laments, "This school is not 
nearly as good as we are going to 
become. It's a terrible time to retire." 

Meg Medina is a freelance writer in 
Richmond who often reviews and 
writes about the arts. 

Photos of art provided by artists 
except where noted. 



Artist Citizens oi tiie World 



"We've really used our alumni base," 
comments associate dean of the art school, 
Joe Seipel, "We have graduates in major art 
centers all over the country. As our students 
move into, say, Brooklyn or Chicago, we can 
connect them." Alumni are fiercely successful 
and intensely loyal to VCU. Here are a few of 
the alumni who "gotthe work out of town" and 
are stretching the ways the rest of us define 
and interact with contemporary sculpture. 

Tara Donovan '99MFA 
Brooklyn, New York 

Seipel enthusiastically assesses alumna Tara 
Donovan's career: "If you'd bought stock in 
Tara a year ago, you'd be a millionaire right 
now." In 2003, Donovan had spreads Art in 
America, W, the New York Times and the 
Village Voice. 

She is best known for using everyday, 
materials — Elmer's Glue, Scotch tape, tooth- 
picks, pencils — in enormous quantities, with 
fascinating results. Adding machine tape 
evokes a group of islands; electrical wire 
seems to ripple; straws become an optical 
illusion; tape becomes a fungus. The 
Brooklyn Rail, reviewing her June 2003 show 
at the Ace Gallery in New York, described her 
work as, "surprising, labor-intensive, and 
even perverse... Donovan's work is singular 
not simply due to the astonishing scale of her 
obsessive ness, but because of the way she 
deploys mass capitalism and suburban 
consumer culture in an aesthetic idiom that 
one might call "the minimal, statistical 
sublime" and which is also a variation on 
process sculpture." (Daniel Baird, from "The 
Madness of Ordinary Material" in The 
Brooklyn Rail: Critical Perspectives in Arts 
Politics and Culture, June 2003) 

Donovan's artist statement explains her 
process: "I choose materials already identi- 
fied with a basic functional purpose. 
Beginning with an open experimental 
approach, I calculate the physical properties 
of the material such as texture, density, mass, 
and size that will eventually give rise to a 
structure or unit when accumulated. Once 
established, this unit is then reproduced 
according to given spatial conditions and col- 
lected in various ways to discover how it 
behaves visually in a population. I give partic- 
ular attention to patterning, configuration, 
and light absorption/reflection in deciding 
how to then unify that population, but the final 
form evolves organically from the material 
itself via its innate properties and structure. 
Installed specifically for each exhibition 
space, these forms function as fields of visual 
activity that reveal distinctive characteristics 
with each shifting viewpoint" 

Donvan has received grants from the 
New York Foundation for the Arts, the Joan 
Mitchell Foundation, and The Marie Walsh 
Sharpe Art Foundation: The Space Program. 



In 2001, she won The Louis Comfort Tiffany 
Foundation Biennial Competition and she is 
the 2003 Augustus Saint Gaudens Memorial- 
Sculpture Fellow. In the year she graduated 
with her MFA, Donovan was invited to partici- 
pate in the 1999 Whitney Biennial and had a 
solo exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of 
Art's Hemicycle Gallery in Washington. Her 
recent work was featured in a solo exhibition 
at Ace Gallery, New York, from March 
through July 2003. 

George Ferrandi '93BFA 
Brooklyn, New York 

Super Silver Monkey, a super hero who's 
drawn into others' emotional crises and his 
cast offellow characters are all the art of 
George Ferrandi, a player in the Brooklyn art 
scene. "He's constantly failing," explains 
Ferrandi. "He's a tragic hero." The series, she 
says, is subtly influenced by another aspect 
of her work — church restoration, especially 
the iconography of the saints and their inter- 
relationships. 

Ferrandi moved to New York on 
September 10, 2001 with no clear plans. On 
her first morning in New York City, the World 
Trade Center collapsed. Her parents restored 
churches in Baltimore, so Ferrandi jumped in. 
She finds profound joy in restoring objects 
with such a rich history. "It's one of the few 
times when other people — notthe artist — 
are passionately invested inthe piece. These 
statues are not thought of as inanimate 
objects. It's just so meaningful to people." 

For example. She had restored a 
Madonna for a Latino congregation in 
Brooklyn and arrived late with the delivery. 
Ferrandi stood at the church doors waiting for 
Mass to end. "I had the statue on a hand 
truck draped in a white sheet The priest saw 
me and took it as a sign. 'Mary has come to 
reclaim her church!' As I uncovered the 
statue and brought it upthe main aisle, the 
choir broke outinto Ave Maria. People began 
weeping. Children started touching her 
hands. It was amazing." 




character analysis: chavish no.s 4, 5, 6, 7, 
8, 9, 9.5: an improbable narrative wrung 
from non-being and loneliness 



S H A F E R. C p .U R T 12 CONNECTIONS 



I 



iVOn VCU: "It was an incredibly formative 
time for me. It's more than a foundation. It's 
been defining. I remember Elizabeth King 
saying 'complete the cycle.' Starting the 
piece, struggling through it, finishing the 
piece. The emphasis on seeing it through 
remains important to me." 

Ferrandi earned her MFA at Ohio State 
University and taught sculpture and electron- 
ic intermedia at the University of Florida. 
Super Silver Monkey and his enigmatic 
sidekick/ potential assassin, Chavish, are 
featured in "HOME" atthe University of New 
England's Gallery in Portland, Maine, through 
July 11; and in a show featuring cartoon or ' .. 
comic-influenced art atthe Pelham Arts 
Center, 155 Fifth Ave. in Pelham, NY, 
September 10-October 22. Sfie returns to VCU 
for an alumni show this fall. www.supersilver- 
monkey.com. 

Morgan Kennedy 'OOMFA 
Baltimore, Maryland 

Atthe heart of Morgan Kennedy's work is an 
exploration ofthedream world. "It started 
with issues of shamanism, with roots in 
anthropology. Where are the places that we 
go to when we sleep at night?" 

While at VCU, Kennedy made "large bio- 
morphic mesh forms about space and 
shelter." His focus is making objects where 
the viewer could take in both the interior and 
thee)cteriorofthe work. •, 

"Why do I keep making caves? It's a 
sense of going into this space. It has to do 
with time and with another dimension. I think 
there's a sensual, subconscious instinctual 
quality in my work. Now I'm trying to abandon 
past materials and thinking a lot about the 
cave and about recording movement It's an 
exciting time." 

On VCU: Kennedy came to VCO because 
"I was overwhelmed by the facilities." 
Ultimately, however, it was the people in the 
program who pushed his growth as an artist. 
"I liked the friendly open manner of everyone 
there, but it was still demanding. It was like 
going from elementary school right to college. 
The caliber of demand was so strong. There 
were times that felt like the hardest of my life. 
But I learned so much. I've been so blessed. 



They made me walk the plank and made me 
get outthere. The ranking is the ranking. It's 
all subjective. But VCU is a great place. It was 
a greattime for sure." 

Morgan Kennedy teaches 3- dimensional 
design and different levels of sculpture at 
George Mason University (his undergraduate 
alma mater). He has exhibited in New York, 
Richmond, Washington D.C., and Turkey. He 
has been awarded the Eben Demarest Trust 
grant and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts 
Foundation Professional Fellowship. In 
summer 2003, Kennedy completed a Bemis 
Residency, a program in that brings up to 35 
. artists from around the world to warehouse 
studios in Omaha, Nebraska,to create work, 
share ideas, and engage the public. 

Shannon Wright '90BFA 
San Jose, California. 

Shannon Wright meant to register as a 
painting major. "I accidentally turned in my 
course registration forms to the wrong place. 
But, bythe end of my first sculpture class, I 
had changed my major." 

Wright works primarily in kinetic sculp- 
ture, making mechanical objects that become 
installation pieces. They are an environ- 
ment — and a highly labor-intensive creation. 
She faced the familiar artist's struggle to 
balance earning a living with somehow 
making time to create her work. 

To ease the strain, she has begun to 
delegate aspects of projects. "I never did 
believe in this, but I'm starting to have to," 
she admits. To reduce time in the woodshop, 
she recently had some machine parts laser- 
eutfrom acrylic. She is also using animation 
as a planning tool as well as a finished 
product. Typically, she has made working 
prototypes of her sculptures before making 
the true version. For the past two years she 
has worked with animator and fellow sculp- 
ture alum Frank Pichel '88BFA, who has 
turned her technical drawings into anima- 
tions of the proposed machines. "I can realize 
them much faster in the fortni)f animations," 
she explains. 

On VCU: "VCU has had the most influ- 
ence on me of all the places I've been, both 
as a student and teacher. They demanded 




self-sufficiency. They wanted you to become 
proficient in all the areas you possibly could. • ' ,"••: 
You might have to learn to make and edit 
videos, and weld, and know whatever it took 
to make what you wanted to make. I think the 
faculty all exemplified that way of thinking," 

VCU critiques, the most rigorous she has 
ever encountered, were long and intense; 
but they gave students the sense that their 
choices mattered. The group learned a ' 
delicate balance between support and the 
push to improve. "We were competitive but 
relying on the group. We paid attention to 
each other; we were indebted to each 
other. We were both trying to outdo and 
be close-knit." 

Wright holds an MFA from the School of 
the Art Institute of Chicago. As coordinator of 
3-D Foundations at San Jose State University, 
she teaches Foundations classes in 3-dimen- 
sional art, and upper-level classes in Spatial 
Arts (sculpture and installation art). Wright 
had a show at VCU in February. She currently 
has a video installation atthe San Jose 
Institute of Contemporary Art, and an 
upcoming show in Lake Tahoe in the fall. 

A few more recentawards to VCU Sculpture 

alumni — ■ .■:;•••■■:' 

.■■■■■■■•~t> 

Stephen Althouse '75MFA 

2003 Fulbright: Artist-in-Residence, Museum - 
of Modern and Contemporary Art in Liege, - '-'l^ . 
Belgium .■ ,3 .. .- -■y''-. 

Kim Baranoski 'OOMFA 

2001 Joan Mitchell Award 

Tim Blum '92MFA 

1992 Jacob Javits Fellowship 
2000 Pollock-Krasner Grant 

Lisa Bradley '01 BFA 

2003 NEA Professional Development Fellow 

2004 Resident Fellow, Whitney Museum 



/■ 






■ V ' ■ ; 



••:"=! 



Tony Cokes '84MFA 

2002 Creative Capital Grant 



r:ij^]:;;r^0:'SK 



Teresita Fernandez '92MFA 

2001 Tiffany Grant; 2003 Guggenheim Fellow 

Ledelie Moe '96MFA 

2002 Joan Mitchell Award 

Kellie Murphy '98MFA 

1998 Bemiss Foundation Residency in Omana 
1998 Joan Mitchell Award 

Beth Solin 'OOMFA 

2001 Pollock-Krasner Grant 



Morgan Kennedy is an artist-spelunker, 
exploring caves and finding doors to — ? 



"Ride," Shannon Wright with Franl< 
Pichel, a motion graphics designer in LA. 



SUMMER 13 2004 



Forensic Files: VGU 



BY JORIEL F0LT2 



On a recent episode of the wildly popular CBS series CSI: 
Crime Scene Investigations, Investigator Warrick Brown is 
blindsided in court when the judge declares a bloody 
knife recovered from a suspected killer's car inadmissible 
due to an improper search. Investigators have only 
twenty-four hours to find and process new evidence, or 
their suspect will be released. The ensuing thrill ride of 
shadowy lab footage and tough-talking detecrive work is 
typical of CSI and its spin-off CSI: Miami, shows that top 
a long list of weekly dramas and documentaries featuring 
forensic science. 

In real life, forensic scientists do fascinating work, 
applying scientific methods and analysis to support the 
criminal justice system. They can find and process DNA 
from the perspiration on a gun grip or water vapor 
breathed onto a scarf. They can determine whether a 
driver was pressing the brake or the gas at the time of a 
vehicular death. They can match a bottle cap used to 
cook drugs with the bottle it came from. They can ascer- 
tain the identity of almost any mysterious white powder. 
And they can pull fingerprints from surfaces as unlikely 
as concrete or wire saeen. 

But these feats of analytical brilliance rarely, if ever, 
occur during a forty-four minute whirlwind of rule- 
breaking adventures set to a rock and roll soundtrack. 

While shows like Qiiincy, M.E. dramatized the use of 
science to solve crime as early as the 1970s, the media 
obsession with forensic science really took off after the 
1995 O.J. Simpson trial, in which DNA evidence played a 
pivotal role. This wave of public attention has flooded 
universities across the country with students eager to 
become forensic scientists. 

VCU's undergraduate Forensic Science Program has 
grown from fourteen students who changed their majors 
when the program was first introduced in spring 2001, to 
430 students enrolled in the program in fall, 2003. The 
graduate program accepts only twelve students each year 
from more than 200 applications. 

In spite of an occasional need to reinforce the less 
glamorous realities of real forensic science, the media 
hype is a terrific motivator. "It's an energized program," 
says new program director Dr. Bill Eggleston, who has 
taught genetics and molecular biology at VCU since 
1993. "It's very exciting. The students are enthusiastic 
and very proactive." The clamor to get into these 
programs creates intensity from the beginning. "Folks 
look around and see the excitement just within their 
group." 



Students will need all the enthusiasm they can 
muster to thrive in the demanding interdisciplinary 
program. Professors and practicing forensic scientists give 
students a solid foundation of biology, chemistry, 
physics and math, while also building their understand- 
ing of the criminal justice system, forensic techniques, 
and the art of relaying scientific findings through written 
reports and oral testimony. 

Undergraduates in the biology track will go on to 
further study or careers in DNA or crime scene analysis. 
Students interested in areas other than DNA analysis, like 
drug analysis, firearms, tool marks or tiace evidence, take 
the chemistry tiack. 

In 2000, Dr. Stephen Gottiredson, dean of the 
College of Humanities and Sciences, began working with 
Dr. Paul Ferrera of the Virginia Division of Forensic 
Science to develop a forensic science program in the 
College. The undergraduate program began in 2001 as a 
tiack within the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies. 
"We used that to incubate the program and set a solid 
foundation," says Sherry Mikuta, the program's first 
director. At VCU, "we were starting up before the influx 
of forensic science programs, and we've developed an 
interdisciplinary program that we think is solid and well 
rounded." In March 2002, VCU's BS in Forensic Science 
was approved by the State Council of Higher Education 
for Virginia (SCHEV). 

The graduate program has deeper roots. VCU has had 
a forensic science tiack within the Master's program in 
criminal justice since 1984. The master's program was 
approved to start in spring 2004 — the only Master of 
Forensic Science in Virginia and one of only 13 in the 
U.S. VCU's program is also one of the few in the country 
in partnership with a forensic science laboratory, the 
Richmond laboratory of the Virginia Division of Forensic 
Science. (See sidebar.) 

Mysteries '" v- ---■•■ r: 
Undergraduate Jill Grizzard '05 has been reading 
medical encyclopedias and crime novels since 
middle school, even before the hype hit TV. "I knew 
what I wanted to do," she says, "even though nobody 
knew what it was." Now in her third year in the biology 
tiack, Grizzard plans to earn an MD and go on to certifi- 
cation as a forensic pathologist/ medical examiner. "The 
forensic science degree includes most of the same basic 
sciences you need for medical school, but it differs in th^t 
there's a mystery to it, a curiosity. It is not as cut-and 
dried as a strict pre-medical program." 



1 




SHAFER COURT 14 CONNECTIONS 








Grizzard's passion for her chosen field is palpable. 
"This program is no joke," she says emphatically, under- 
lining the rigor of the curriculum. Like many of her 
peers, she wants as much hands-on experience as she can 
get before graduation. "When I first came here," she says, 
"1 was cleaning out maggot jars — but getting acclimated 
to the lab." She used her spring break in 2003 to shadow 
pathologist Dr. Rob Lippman in a weeklong externship at 
McGuire Department of Veterans Affairs Virginia Medical 
Center through the VCU Alumni Association. Next fall, 
she hopes for an internship with a criminal law attorney, 
"because one day I'll be on the stand giving expert testi- 
mony." 

Grizzard is not alone in her focus and determination. 
She is president of an active Forensic Student Science 
Club which organizes career workshops and brings in 
guest speakers from various forensic science specialties. 
The idea is to help students think through career options, 
get experience they need, and make important connec- 
tions. 

Grizzard herself is part of a minor mystery in her 
field. At VCU and in universiries across the country, 
students in forensic science are overwhelmingly female. 
With true scientific integrity, none of the VCU faculty, 
alumni or students is comfortable the- 
orizing about why. 




When pressed, some suggest that perhaps women pay 
greater attention to detail, are more patient, feel less 
threatened by forensic science than by a more traditional 
chemistry or biology degree, or are simply more curious 
than men. 

As far as this being "an unsuitable job for a woman" 
(apologies to mystery writer P.D. James), Grizzard says 
she rarely thinks about that because she's so used to 
attending classes full of women. But she does enjoy con- 
founding gender expectarions. "It makes me more ambi- 
tious for someone to think, 'a girl doing that,'" she con- 
fesses. "It kind of proves a point." 

As Seen on TV 

One of VCU's real experts, toxicologist Dr. Al Poklis, 
affiliate professor of forensic science, appeared on 
Crime TV's Foretisic Files last fall, discussing a case. A 
woman died of kidney failure after about a year of illness; 
her symptoms had been attributed to side effects of her 
medication for manic-depression. Investigators asked 
Poklis to review the entire case files. The kidney failure 
which killed her is not an effect of psychoactive medica- 
tion. A blood test in the hospital before she died revealed, 
too late, ethylene glycol. Her illness and kidney deteriora- 
tion had begun when she married — and got better when 
her husband was out of town. Ultimately, he confessed 
to poisoning her with antifreeze. (It's not so hard to 
cover the taste, Poklis says.) 

In nearly 40 years in his field, Poklis has seen some 
enormous changes. The most dramatic changes are tech- 
nology driven, he says. "Thirty-five years ago, we could 
barely detect morphine in 25 ml of blood. Now you can 
detect morphine in hair samples, in picograms. That's an 
increase of 10,000 times the sensitivity. Things that were 
once almost impossible to find are now easily 
detectable." 

There has also been "a tremendous overall growth in 
all the areas of forensic science. Forensic laboratories are 
now much more available, even in smaller towns." And 
technology was not the only force driving the field. 

He explains, "When I was a young man, people got 

drunk. Almost no one had heard of cocaine." In fact, 

Poklis published one of the first reports about death 

from a cocaine overdose. A heroin epidemic on the 

East Coast in the late '60s ushered in the dmg era, 

followed by the hippies using psychedelics, marijua- 

VCU toxicologist, Dr. Al Poklis, analyzes 
a murder by antifreeze for Crime TV. 




SUMMER 



2 4 



na and other drugs. The 70s saw tremendous changes in 
social mores, he comments, including sex and drug use. 

"Now there are all kinds of drug abuse and overdos;es, 
and a tremendous increase in violent crime related to \ 
drug abuse. Drug abuse now permeates every field of ■ 
medicine — pediatrics and obstetrics, disease control, | 
public health. At the same time, there's been a huge 
development in ER technology to keep people alive in 
spite of an overdose." 

In his teaching, with both undergraduate and 
graduate students, Poklis emphasizes careful documenlia- 
tion and personal integrity. "Somerimes you can't say j 
what the cops or prosecutor would like you to say." i 

Beyond that, "my big concern is to give students I 
some historical perspective. We discuss the history of i 
lead toxicity in the U.S., for example. In the '50s, lots a|nd 
lots of children were suffering from lead encephalopatliiy; 
now it's a pocketed issue in pediatrics. I want students to 
think critically, and to integrate what they're learning ■ 
with other subjects, their own lives, with its impact on 
society as a whole. 1 don't see any point in just having 
them regurgitate lists." 



goal is to determine whether a correlation can be drawn 
between the amount of dmgs found in an insect and the 
amount consumed by the deceased. "We don't know if 
we can do that or not." 

Peace started her graduate studies in 1995, the year of 
the O.J. Simpson trial, which she agrees was a "turning 
point" for forensic science. "Quality assurance and stan- 
dards and good practices in crime scene investigation 
and evidence collection have all matured," she says. But 
some things have not changed. "Forensic science has 
always been an exciting field to be in because it's always 
evolving and often evolving very rapidly, so the nature 
of forensic science itself is about change and growth and 
new application of new ideas and new application of 
old ideas." 






n-F ^r-'r^e and Bugs 
WhUe working under Poklis toward her PhD in 
Forensic Toxicology (Summer, 2004), Michelle 
Peace has taught almost every core course in the under- 
graduate forensic science curriculum. "I've seen the 
program mature from a few courses to a full-fledged 
bachelor's program in its own right," she says. "What we 
have now, we've worked really hard to get." 

Peace is the expert who will explain the meanings of 
maggots at the crime scene to students like Grizzard. 
More precisely, her area could be described as "drugs and 
bugs." Peace is an entomotoxicologist. Her research 
makes links between insects found on or near cadavers 
and drugs that the deceased may have consumed 
before death. "Insects just happen 
to be really great preservation vials 
for drugs, because essentially you 
are what you eat," she explains. "In 
cases of severe decomposition, 
exhumation and burnings, you can 
use insects as your specimens for 
toxicology analysis. The first case in 
which insects were used as the toxi- 
cology specimen to understand the 
episode of intoxication was right here 
in Virginia in 1980." 

The life cycles of insects found near 
a body can also be used to help 
estimate the time of death. Peace is 
working with other scientists to build a 
database for forensic entomologists and 
toxicologists to understand how drugs 
affect insect life cycles and how drugs 
affect different species. Another research 



Expert Witness 

Former police officer Mason B>Td '02MPA/H&S has 

a joint appointment in the department of criminal 
justice and forensic science. "Forensics by definition has 
to do with the law, and that was a piece we initially were 
missing on the faculty," says Mikuta. 

When Byrd joined a municipal police department in 
Florida in 1987, he had only two years of college. During 
Hs ten years on the force, he worked patrol, evidence 
collection, field training, narcotics, vice, community 
oriented policing and finally internal affairs. As a police- 
man in the community, "1 was telling kids 
'Stay in school. Education is . ^ o 



important. When you 



cr 



S H 





have a degree, you can write your 
own ticket.'" 

Unwilling to remain "a hyp- 
' ocrite," he took a leave to go back to 
school, finished a bachelor's in 
criminal justice and then added a law 
degree and a VCU Master's in Public 
Administration, both by 2002. 

"These students are scientists, not 
lawyers," Byrd says. "I try to introduce 
them to the criminal justice system and 
work them through the information 
they will need, from crime scene to court- 
room. Their job doesn't end until there is 
a conviction." 

The scientists are fascinated, and they 
_catch^nJast;^Byrdjays^jiotin 
analytic brain they need for 
organic chemistry is 



"Insects are great preservation vials 

for drugs, because, essentially, you are what you eat," 

Michelle Peace (right) explains to Jill Grizzard. 







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SUMMER 17 2004 



the same kind of brain they need for working through a 
case." Some cases come right out of the newspaper. "The 
Kobe Bryant case was especially relevant. The semen in 
the victim's underpants was a major piece of evidence, 
and it turned out not to be his." 

Even more than the technical aspects on evidence 
law, "I stress ethics heavily. What I emphasize over and 
over is their personal credibility and integrity. Some 
people say that ethics goes without saying. No, it 
doesn't." Byrd mentions "forensic superstars" whose 
evidence got convictions. "They were committing fraud. 
They'd say their sample was so small there's nothing left; 
no one else can test it to check their results." 

Byrd reminds students of their special responsibility 
to the jury. "Jurors can understand from their own expe- 
rience that eyewitnesses might be wrong. They believe 
you, so you'd better be right." 

Inevitably policy issues arise. Touchy search and 
seizure issues develop when some of the vicrims of a 
murder — relatives and friends — are also suspects. 

Students discuss statutes like Virginia's 21 -day 
rule. If new evidence proving 




Forensic scientists 

have a special responsibility to jurors, 

says Mason Byrd to students. "They believe you, 

so you better be right." 



innocence comes to light more than 21 days after the 
trial court's final judgment, it's inadmissible. The only 
recourse is a pardon from the governor — rarely given. 
(And the pardon makes no judgment of innocence.) 
Recent laws have made an exception for new DNA 
evidence. "With VCU's diverse group of students dis- 
cussing these topics, you'll get an array of responses. This 
is good. You really need to let students know that there's 
more than one opinion on the issues." 

Just last year Virginia did approve a mechanism 
allowing a prisoner to petition for a writ of actual inno- 
cence (and release) if he or she can present human bio- 
logical evidence, such as DNA, proving innocence. Byrd 
explains, "Typically this would happen when somebody 
was convicted before the technology existed to get a 
DNA fingerprint from the evidence left behind, either 
because the sample size was very small or the sample was 
degraded. So, at their trial, they were unable to use DNA 



evidence to prove their innocence." Two bills to expand 
the procedure to nonbiological evidence were before th i 
legislature this spring. 

Byrd hopes to start taking pro bono cases of Virginiia 
inmates who claim "actual innocence" of the crimes th ;y 
are in prison for, and he expects to be swamped with 
requests. "I'll need help reviewing the information and 
reading trial transcripts. I'd like to use students who ha^e 
taken my class to help me determine what evidence was 
used and what evidence still exists." 



SUPfll^? 



Sli ces of Li f e 

DNA identification is a huge new area in forensic 
science, developing rapidly and affecting many 
people's lives. The "actually innocent" are being exoner- 
ated through DNA evidence. Naming the dead restores 
their connection with living generations. 

Molecular pathologist Dr. Tracey Dawson Cruz joined 
the faculty in fall 2003, from the forensic science faculty 
at George Washington University. "Projects in my 
research lab are aimed at increasing the sensitivity of 
DNA analysis for human identification. Many cases in 
crime labs are signed out as inconclusive," she explains, 
"because the remains are too badly burned or damaged, 
or have otherwise been exposed to environmental 
elements for too long." 

In Dawson Cruz's Senior Forensic DNA course, 
students are taken through "all the major procedures 
used in traditional forensic DNA labs, including STR 
genotyping ("profiling") and sequencing, using genetic 
analyzers and other instruments frequently encountered 
in crime laboratory settings." In fact, Cruz says, "Dean 
Gottfredson was able to obtain funding for a brand new, 
$100,000 high-tech sequencer dedicated to research and 
teaching in the forensic science program. Getting our 
own equipment is an important step." 

Students are trained from the beginning in federal 
Quality Assurance standards and how they impact work 
in the laboratory. "Students are expected to make correc- 
tions in a certain way; they make lab notes in ink, not 
pencil; they learn how to prevent contamination of 
evidence, and how to prepare legal reports." VCU gradu- 
ates in the biology hack are well-prepared for entry-level 
positions in DNA or serology. "Our graduates aren't 
shocked at the high quality standards they will find 
when they start work in a crime lab." 

Adding lecture and theory to hands-on lab experi- 
ences, majors learn "basic concepts of forensic molecular 
biology and chemistry and study keystone cases involv- 
ing DNA identification— including the O.J. Simpson case, 
the Thomas Jefferson-Sally Hemmings case in kinship 
identification, and the newer technologies used in identi- 
fying victim remains after the September 11 attacks." 

In addition to forensic science courses and heavy 
doses of biology and chemistry, majors must complete 
genetics, statistics, and biochemistry. Dawson Cruz 
observes, "Our graduates have broad interests and are 



SHAFER COURT 18 CONNECTIONS 



^'"v»L-*«^^--**" 





Suzanne Barritt directs 

50 scientists at an Armed Forces DNA 

lab identifying soldiers' remains from the 

Vietnam War, the Korean War and World War II. 



questions about the science of DNA analysis, and listen 
to families tell their stories. 

"Occasionally we get the chance to present the ID 
packet to the family," she continues. "At that point, you 
are providing closure to that family. You're sitting there 
in their home helping them cope with something 
they've dealt with for years." 

Barritt credits VCU with giving her a solid foundation 
for her current career. "When I left the program, I felt 
well prepared to go into any discipline 1 wanted. 
Compared to other programs, VCU offers hands-on 
experience that can't be found anywhere else." 

Barritt plans to stay with what she's doing. "I'd like to 
see this mission through. I'm pretty close to it. I'm not 
sure how many people can say they enjoy coming into 
work every day, but I'm one of those people." 



prepared to pursue a wide variety of careers." Some go 
directly to jobs in private or public forensic science labo- 
ratories, but many graduates in the biology track go on to 
graduate and professional schools. "Forensic Sciences 
students have the background to enter medical school, 
law school, or graduate programs in any of the natural or 
life sciences. Our graduates are competitive and are suc- 
ceeding in many areas of science." 

Alumna Suzanne Barritt '93MS/H&S can show 
students where a career path might lead. Barritt directs 
one of the largest DNA ID labs in the country, the 
Mitochondrial Unit of the Armed Forces DNA 
Identification Laboratory in Maryland. She supervises a 
team of about 50 scientists. "Our main mission," she 
explains "is to assist the Joint POW/MIA Accounting 
Command, which is based in Hawaii, in identifying the 
remains of service members from previous conflicts." 

Barritt and her colleagues identify remains from the 
Vietnam War, the Korean War, and even some from 
World War II, by comparing DNA from the remains with 
DNA from blood submitted by family members. In each 
case, there's a different scenario as to how the remains 
were lost and recovered. For example, the remains of 
many Americans killed in the Korean War were turned 
over to the U.S. by the Korean government, but "a lot are 
still there. Teams go over there and excavate," says 
Barritt. "Accounting Command does all the legwork, and 
they send a small cutting to us." 

Last year, the lab processed over 653 specimens, as 
well as over 1,800 blood references from the families of 
missing service members. "In any laboratory setting," 
says Banitt, "you can become consumed with the day to 
day activities and forget about the mission and how 
many lives you are positively affecting." To avoid that, 
scientists from her lab attend family briefings each 
month; they explain the status of the project, answer 



Or. Tracey Dawson Cruz (right) teaches Denise Rodier and Kristen Lewis 
to use various equipment for genetic identification, including this new, 
$100,000 high-tech sequencer for genetic analysis. 



SUMMER 



While the public continues to be fascinated with forensic 
science and crime solving. Peace sees VCU students 
quickly rising above the glamour. They realize that to 
succeed, they'll need a competitive edge, so they get 
motivated early in their academic careers. 

Beyond that, "you have to be a certain caliber of 
person," Peace explains. "You have to have a certain 
moral and ethical standard built within you not only to 
do this work but to be hired. Agencies are not going to 
hire someone who has a questionable history." 

The work and their ambition seem to draw them 
together. "It's a tight-knit group," Mason Byrd observes, 
adding "These students are really smart." And Byrd has 
absolute confidence in their integrity. "All these students 
will be good representatives of VCU." 

For more about VCU's BS and MS in forensic Science, 
go to www.has.vcii.edu/foretisics. 

Joriel Foltz is a freelance writer in Richmond who often 
writes for VCU's ahimni magazines. 




2 4 




come and go. Some guys got married; 
some guys had full time jobs while they 
were in school." Shimchick, an advertis- 
ing student at RPI in the Virginia Tech 
extension program, transferred to Tech 
after two years. 

Dick Fisher '71BS/B played varsity 
baseball until his junior year. "I lost my 
arm," recalls Fisher, "1 was looking for 
something to do. These weren't the days 
of big money sports. It was about compe- 
tition and school spirit," he says. 

Eddie Swink '72BA/H&S joined the 
crew in 1969 as a coxswain (cock-sn). 



oach D. K. Waybright remembers 
exactly when it all ended. "May 9, 
1972 was the last official day of the 
crew," he recalls, leaning back at his 
desk at his West Grace Street office. A 
month later. Hurricane Agnes saturated 
the East Coast, causing Richmond's worst 
flood in a century. "It destroyed our 
boathouse and much of our equipment," 
says Waybright. "1 had anticipated it," 
adds the president and owner of 
Waybright Investments briskly. "1 had 
double insurance." VCU's athleric depart- 
ment was highly appreciative of his fore- 
sight and gave the insurance money to 
the basketball program. Thus ended 
crew's brief six-year history at VCU. 
But wait a minute. Back up a bit. 
Crew at RPI!? How did a sport usually 
associated with the icy waters of New 
England's private universities ever row its 
way up the James River to southern, 
urban Richmond Professional Institute? 



Enter Coach Bowles. 
Donald Bowles, who 
taught retailing at RPl's 
School of Distribution, had been an alter- 
nate on the 1926 U.S. Olympic crew after 
rowing for Harvard. Bowles found eight 
tall, lanky RPI undergrads to form the 
first crew in 1966-67. 

A CHOPPY START 

"Coach Bowles told us, "Because you are 
the first crew at this univer-sity, you will 
be the worst crew," remembers Frank 
Shimchick '70 AS, "but he knew that we 
were gonna do nothing but get better. 
We were at the bottom of our sport, 
getting beaten by freshmen crews at 
other universities." 

With no scholarships and rowers 
drafted from other sports, the crew had a 
motley, ever-changing lineup. "1 don't 
know anyone who actually rowed four 
years," says Shimchick. "Guys would 




Lightweight coxswains don't row, but sit 
in the stem of the boat and steer while 
calling out the rhythm of the strokes. 
"1 was on the golf team," remembers 
Swink — now business director at the 
Virginia State Golf Association Founda- 
tion. "They got me to be the coxswain 
because 1 had a loud voice and 1 was tiny. 
I had no experience guiding a shell." 

"Rowing was not the number one 
thing on our brains," Swink comments. 
"We didn't eat and sleep it. It's amazing 
we did as well as we did." Shimchick 
adds, "A lot of guys went out for the 
sport because it was new to them. And 
let's be honest, the ladies really liked 
watching this sport." So their attitude 
toward training was at times. . . 
well, comfortable. 




Shimchick remembers the daily run 
from Shafer Street down to the 14th 
Street bridge. "Everyone would start out 
together, and there would always be a 
couple of guys lagging behind." The 
laggards would hitch a ride and arrive at 
the boathouse first. "Coach Bowles 
thought those guys were in terrific shape." 

"Picture us, the '60s hippie gang, 
running through the middle of three- 
piece-suit Main Street," adds Paul 
Kauffmann. "People looked at us like we 
had three heads." Mel Denton 
'70BS/H&S was a 27-year-old sopho- 
more, a Henrico police officer on leave to 
get his degree — ^the crew, of course, called 
him "Dad." Denton rowed "stroke" 
position in the stem of the shell, setting 
the pace for the other rowers. "Coach 
Bowles looked to 'Dad' to put some of 
the younger guys under his wing," says 
Shimchick. "He coached us through Mel 
as much as he coached us himself." 

The training boat was a heavy steel 
barge, a vessel with which the crew had 
a kind of hate-hate relationship. "It was 
heavy as can be," says Denton, "You 
could hardly row it." Shimchick puts 
his oar in: "How it ever floated no one 
knew because the damn thing took 
about 10 guys to push it down the ramp 
into the water." 

Some students who played other 
sports called crew "a sissy sport." Hardly, 
says Denton. "In rowing, each stroke uses 
every muscle group from the calves to 
the wrists. In a race you do it about 300 
rimes, pulling a weight of about 2000 
pounds through the water, non-stop for 
6 to 8 minutes. If you let up at all to rest 
or catch your breath, you lose the race. 
I challenge any athlete to row all-out in 
a 2000-meter race and then call it 'a 
sissy sport.'" 



THE COMMONWEALTH 
BARGE CLUB 

The University funded Crew exactly $1 
to make them an official student club, so 
they struggled each season to stay afloat 
financially. It could be a hard sell. 
"Funny looks? All the rime," says 
Shimchick. Denton remembers, "We 
were standing out on Shafer Court with 
our crew shirts on saying, 'Please support 
us, please give money.' People would say, 
'What do you guys do in that sport?' 
You'd have to explain what it was." 

In 1967 Denton and Shimchick, with 
Steve Andrews '71BS/B and design 
students Ed Sargent and Mark Fuller, 
founded The Commonvvfealth Barge Club, 
which became the moral and financial 
lifeblood of the crew. The Barge Club 
raised all the money for the aew's racing 
shells (boats), oars, uniforms, and travel 
expenses. They sold t-shirts in Shafer 
Court, they threw benefit parties. Coach 
Waybright solicited Reynolds Metals to 
help build a shell carrier for road trips. 
Eventually the Club became an unofficial 
fraternity with its own house. 

MAKING A SPLASH 

In and out of the water, VCU Crew 
rowed against a swift current, but they 
barged on upstream, getting better each 
season. By 1970, rowing was a varsity 
sport, with VCU funding for a new eight- 
man shell and other equipment. 
Picnicking students regularly gathered 
along the grassy banks of the James for 
home races as the crew rowed fiom 
south of the 14th Street Bridge to the 
finish line at Ancarrow's Marina on the 
south side of the river. 

Road ttips took them to regattas in 
Washington, Philadelphia and South 
Carolina. Still the long-haired "hippie 




CoacH Donald Bowles, 1966 





mmmtrnjimm 




team," they were beating clean-cut 
southerners at The Citadel or Eastern 
Carolina. "Yeah, that was fun," George 
Mosby '72BS/B chuckles. The crew was 
often trailed out of town by caravans of 
eager boosters. "We had cheerleaders 
with us, if you can imagine," says Swink. 
"How do you cheer knowing you'll only 
see the boat at the finish line? It was 
ridiculous. Vans broke down. We took 
our own cars." 

Those trips were a lark, but also part of 
VCU history, as Paul Kauffmann realizes 
now. "The school had just merged with 
the Medical College of Virginia and 



changed its name from RPI to VCU. It was 
going through a metamorphosis into a 
major university, and the name change 
really crystallized that. When we traveled 
to Georgetown or Philadelphia for races, 
people would say, "What's VCU? Where's 
that school?' In a way, we were early 
ambassadors of VCU." 

When Bowles retired in 1969, 
Waybright took over. He had no connec- 
tion with VCU (although his son Jon 
Waybright '90BA/H&S is an alumnus), 
but he had rowed in high school and 
came to take a look. "1 could see they 
needed help." Waybright's coaching 



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style was more aggressive, and he liked to 
add a psychological edge. 

Looking for added incentive before a 
big race against Notre Dame, Coach 
Waybright convinced the crew that he 
had broken into a museum display case 
and stolen the oars from the 1968 
Olympic Championship rowing crew. He 
warned an awestruck crew, "If you use 
these oars and let Notre Dame whip your 
butt, you've insulted that Olympic crew." 

"They bought it, hook, line and 
sinker," Waybright crows. "They rowed 
their butts off and beat Notre Dame." 

The crew's biggest test was the 
annual Dad Vail Regatta, a huge race of 
east coast crews on Philadelphia's 
Schuykill River. In 1971, one VCU crew 
finished 3rd overall at the Dad Vail, their 
best finish on record. That year a VCU 
Crew of students who stayed in 
Richmond for the summer won a gold 
medal in the Pelham Bay Regatta in New 
York City. So VCU was asked to row in 
the Miami Invitational in March 1972, 
an international race with crews from 
Mexico and Guatemala, and — for the 
first time in a U.S. race — England's top 
aew, from Cambridge University. 

VCU's by then dream team included 
"several champion rowers, including 
oarsmen Billy Gills, who won the World 
Lightweight Championship, and Ray 
Tolson '73BFA. Although he didn't go to 
Florida, coxswain Jim Stone's '73BS/E 
high school team had won its division of 
the 1969 Henley Regatta in England. 
Again, Waybright psyched up his crew. 
Leaving six inches of snow behind, VCU 
Crew drove to Miami, challenging their 
way south, racing other crews and 
usually winning. D.K. phoned in daily 
results to the student paper. Someone 
drove the papers to the team en route, 
and D.K. showed them in print, "See 
how great you are!" 

Of 30 teams, Cambridge came in first 
among the top sbc. VCU's Heavyweight 
Varsity team finished seventh of 18 in 
the consolation race. The Cambridge 
team, says Mosby, "looked like eight Jim 
Thorpes — taller than us and all the 
same." Traditionally the winners take the 
shirts of the other teams; later, some of 
the Cambridge crew exchanged their 
jerseys, emblazoned with Richard the 
Lionheart, with VCU rowers. "So it was 
quite an experience," D.K. adds. 



SHAFER COURT 22 CONNECTIONS 



A CLEAR REFLECTION 

In fall of 2003, more than 30 years after 
VCU crew was swept away, Mel Denton 
and Frank Shimchick ran into each other 
in Richmond. "We had such a great time 
catching up," says Shimchick, "we said 
why don't we have a reunion?" Through 
the Internet and the VCU Alumni 
Association, they collected Barge Club 
members scattered as far as Florida, 
Colorado, and Arizona. 

On November 15, 2003, sixteen 
former members and ten spouses 
gathered at the Bottega Bistro in 
Richmond. "Even though it's been 30 
years, when we get in the same room 
with one another, it's like no time has 
passed," Shimchick muses. "It's like we 
just crawled out of the shell and we're 
sharing a beer." 

His wife Brenda smiles. "It's rare to see 
people as comfortable with each other as 
these guys after so many years. Their 
friendships are as strong now as they were 
then. It's heartwarming to see." 

Dick Fisher says his three years 
rowing with VCU crew gave him a sense 
of ultimate teamwork that has carried 
him through his entire life — a 30-year 
career at Washington Gas & Electric and 
nine years in the Virginia House of 
Delegates. "All the oars had to go in at 
the same time and come out at the same 
time," he explains. "All eight rowers have 
to be 'clicking,' like a machine. When 
that happens, it's a beautiful sight." 




MM* 



THE SAME RIVER TWICE m 



Shimchick had a wish at the reunion. "If 
we could get crew started again at VCU, 
that would be the absolute greatest thing 
to ever happen to this group of guys." 
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said no 
one steps in the same river twice. He also 
said, "Everything flows." 

In 2002, a handful of undergraduates 
formed the VCU Crew Club, with both 
men's and women's crews. On April 10, 
2004, VCU Crew and The Virginia Boat 
Club sponsored the First Annual 
Rockett's Landing Regatta. Crews from 
VCU, William & Mary, Old Dominion, 
and the University of Richmond raced 
on the lower James River. VCU Men's 
Novice 4 won the sixth race, 1750 
meters, beating William & Mary by a 
deck, with a time of 5:23.10. 

After the races, the Barge Club, VCU 
Varsity Crew and families and friends had 




Alumni rowers and boosters can 
contact the current VCU Crew at 
www.studentorg.vcu.edu/vcuaewclub or 



a second reunion, this time a picnic with 

VCU Crew— the New Generation. The 

scrappy spirit of the rowers easily bridged 

three decades. As it reads on the new VCU row4vcu@hotmail.com. 

Crew Club's website, "with spray-painted 

oars and mismatched unifomis, the 

legend continues..." 



David Ready is a writer and designer 
in Brooklyn. 



SUMMER 23 2004 



^ RIGHT PERSON 



BY MARY ELLEN MERCER 

"He was the right person at the right 
time," says Roger Nicholson 
'68BS/H&S '97PhD/E, former presi- 
dent of the VCU Alumni Association. 
BUI lies arrived from the University of 
Iowa Alumni Office in September, 
1987 as executive director of Alumni 
Activities for VCU. A very full 16 years 
later, he retired in January, 2004. 

Sixteen years ago, the VCU 
Alumni Association operated out of 
four smaD rooms at 828 West Franklin 
Street, with only three paid staff 
members and a small budget, divided 
among six school alumni boards on 
the Academic Campus. "It was like 
throwing a bone to hungry dogs. We 
all had programs we wanted to do, but 
there was just no money," says 
Nicholson. David Norris '63BS/B, 
then on the School of Business 
Alumni Board, agrees. "You had to be 
Solomon to apportion that." 

To the fmstrated boards, "Bill came 
with a vision of how alumni could 
become more self-reliant and support 
the University," says Nicholson. The 
Alumni Associations had no revenue- 
producing programs: no membership 
dues, no alumni travel program, no 
career program, a few licensed items, 
Nicholson says. Most important was 




First Founders Day and 
Alumni Stars, part of 
University's 150th Year 
Celebration 



1Q?9 

African American Alumni 
Council founded 

Alumni Extern Program: 
alumni mentoring 
students 



VCU-Wf;V ALUMNI ASSOCIATIONS 

TIMELINE 




the need to pull these programs and 
more together into a comprehensive 
strategy for building alumni ties and 
supporting VCU. 

"You could start from the begin- 
ning and build the whole thing," lies 
says gleefully. lies' goals were "to 
build a sense of tradirion and pride 
for alumni and a warm connection 
with VCU, to develop an alumni 
presence within the University and 
weld it together in support of a 
stronger VCU." Things began to 
happen fast. 



VCU began recognizing its out- 
standing alumni at the Founders Day 
Alumni Stars program, begun in 1988. 
In 1989, alumni began actively 
serving on university search commit- 
tees, recruiting students, and mentor- 
ing current students through the 
Extem Program. In 1989, connections 
with African American alumni were 
established with the African American 
Alumni Council. By 1990, botii 
campuses had membership dues 
programs and the Association presi- 
dents were part of Corrmiencement. 



Alumni Admissions 
Counseling Program 

Student Alumni 
Ambassadors formed 



Alumni Membersfiip 
Program, both campuses 

Agreement between MCV 
Alumni Association and 
President Irani to 
exchange land and move 
the MCV Alumni House 



First Commencement 
Breakfast hosted by 
Alumni Associations 



Alumni Connections: con- 
tinual improvements to 
current alumni database 
of 120,000 graduates w/ith 
93% correct addresses 



VCUAA Alumni House at 
310 N.Shafer Street 

VCUAA 50-year Alumni 
Club Reunions 



Parents and Partners 
Weekend, MCVAA 



Summer — Scarab 
redesign, 2-color 



MCV Alumni House 
opens, rebuilt and reno- 
vated with funds raised by 
alumni and friends 



Affinity Credit Card 

Alumni Neighborhood 
Outreach programs begin 



First Nursing Alumni 
Conference 

Alumni Board Room in 
University Commons 




SHAFER COURT 24 CON Nlt^MONS 




RIGHT TIME 





By the time President 1 
Trani came to VCU in 19S 
llumni boards were readyt'o'^Hpport 
him. "^.played a significant role in 
helping put the infrastructure in 
place to help the University grow," 
says Nicholson. Peter V^eth came to 
VCU as vice president orSKjyance- 
ment in 1993. "I was struck by the 
amount of new activities that Bill 
had just gotten imderway here, and I 
saw right away that he had a vision 
for the two Alumni Associations." 

An active board member during 
the '90s, Norris remembers, "Bill got 
the first university-wide directory 
going," "as well as developing the 
alumni database." In 1990, the total 
database was slightly more than 
60,000 with a high percentage of lost 
or incorrect addresses. The number 
of graduates has doubled to 120,000 
with 93 percent good addresses. An 
important aspect of this and other 
projects, Norris points out, was that 
"Bill truly was able to step over 
boundaries of various schools to 
work with almost anyone, without 
isolating groups." lies' inclusive, col- 
laborative style emphasized "joint 
effort, joint credit," Norris adds. 

Norris was vice president and 
controller of Signet Bank (now 
Wacho\da), and worked with Bill on 



VCU affinity credit card negotia- 
tions. "Bill was very astute. We came 
out of that meeting with an offer 
more than double what they started 
with." Not only did the Alumni 
Association receive $1 million up 
front, to finance buying and renovat- 
ing the Alumni House on Franklin 
Sheet. lies also made sure of value for 
alumni, negotiating a card with a 
permanent low interest rate and 
good travel discounts. 

The Alumni Board Room was set 
up in the University Commons in 
1994, the first permanent presence 
on campus for alumni. Ken Maglll 
'65BSB '69MS/E was alumni board 
treasurer and later president; he also 
chaired the Alumni House Commit- 
tee on the Academic Campus. "We 
would not have had an Alumni 
House without Bill. He is the worker 
bee behind the scenes." As a leader, 
MagUl notes. Bill is "low-key, but so 
organized and focused that he can 
guide you in the direction you need 
to go." MagUl cites lies' major skills 
in planning, organization, staffing, 
directing, coordination, reporting — 
to the university and alumni — 
and budgeting. 

It was typical of Des' work that the 
house purchase and renovations were 
funded by the Association through 



programs like the credit card. He never 
forgot that the purpose of the 
Associations was to support cunent 
students and the University. Through a 
campaign centered on the house, the 
Association raised $1 million toward 
merit scholarships, which was added to 
$1 million from the VCU Foundation 
and $2 million from Schools on the 
Academic Campus. The number of 
merit scholarships for VCU's brightest 
students leapt from 7 to 121. 

Most of the work on the house 
was done by alumni — the contractor, 
interior designers, and alumni artists 
who contributed to the period decor. 
"It lives up to its name, 'Alumni 
House,'" lies stresses, "because it is 
tmly the result of alumni generosity, 
inspiration and art." 

OLD SCHOOL NEW TIES 

Dr. Harry Johnson '53MD tele- 
phoned from Columbia, South 
America to talk about his first meeting 
with lies. "At the time there was a 
huge rift between everything MCV 
and everything VCU — and that 
included alumni affairs. One of the 
alumni officers even announced that 
she had no intention of taking any 
direction from Bill. In his usual calm 
way, BiU explained what he saw as the 
direction for overall alumni affairs. It 




First issue of Shafer Court 
Connections, strictly 
,for alumni 



Millennium alumni 
database maintains more 
complete connections 
with alumni 



First formal RPI Alumni 
Reunion 



Alumni Website established 



First Alumni-led VCU 
Capital Campaign, Partners 
for Progress 

199/ 

FUSA Credit Card, a multi- 
million dollar contract 
toward self-support of 
Associations 



Life Membership 
Endowments: permanent 
financial support for 
Associations 

Paul A. Gross Conference 
Center Opens at MCV 
Alumni House 



Richard T. Robertson 
Alumni House Opens on 
Academic Campus 



$3.6 million VCU Alumni 
Merit Scholarship Fund, 
one third raised through 
gifts naming parts of the 
Alumni House creates 107 
new scholarships 

Matching Fund Incentive 
Program: MCVAAand 
MCV Foundation create $1 
million program for more 
than 48 new faculty chairs 
and student scholarships 





Winter — 4-color Shafer 
Court Connections 
Spring — 4-color Scarab 

Website redesigned: 
www.vcu-mvcalumni.org 



Alumni Web Feature begun 

2004 

Alumni E-xpress, 

e-newsletter 



UMMtR 25 2004 




was done in such a forceful, yet very 
diplomatic way that 1 believe all those 
in attendance realized that a real 
leader was now in charge." 

Richard Barnes '77DDS was 
president of the MCV Alumni 
Association in 1990, three years after 
lies arrived on campus. "Things were 
not moving well," says Barnes. The 
alumni office's priority in the late 
1980s was building trust between 
medical campus alumni and the 
University. Key to the process was 
insuring the Association's long-term 
stability, which was centered on the 
house. The University needed the 
land on which the Association's 
house rested to expand the ambula- 
tory care center, and the Association 
needed a new home from which it 
could serve alumni, students and the 
University. For a decade the 
Association and University tried to 
reach agreement on trading land and 
clearing the way for both prosper. 

During the first years, Barnes 
says, the Association hired a new 
executive director of the MCV 
Alumni Association; put in place a 
new editor and redesign for Scarab, 
the alumni magazine; and changed 
the by-laws to involve more alumni 
on the Association board. And they 
doggedly worked through a series of 
obstacles to clear the way for a new 
Alumni House. 

Bess Littlefield was the new exec- 
utive director of the MCV Alumni 
Association. "Richard and I were very 
busy," she understates. "Our major 
objective was to expand the 
programs and services of the Alumni 
Association to reach out to a wider 



alumni audience. Moving and recon- 
structing the house was a major part 
of that." 

How did they do so much so 
fast? "It was like a logjam on a raging 
river," Barnes says. "You move a 
couple of logs, and then everything 
starts to move." He continues, "Bill 
and I worked very, very well 
together. We just clicked. We wanted 
things to happen positively for the 
University, and we got it done. There 
were no egos involved." 

lies says, "A decade of fruitless 
negotiation created frustration. It 
took alumni like Richard and Dr. 
Fred Given '53MD willing to take 
the first step." Given stepped forward 
soon after Dr. Trani arrived to sign 
an agreement beginning the process 
to trade land, move the alumni 
house, and make room for the new 
Ambulatory Care Center. "From 
there," lies remembers, "it was a 
matter of demonstrating how 
valuable alumni were to the 
University's future and how much 
university growth helps alumni. 
Richard saw that opportunity and 
made the most of it." 

By 1996-99, VCU asked alumni 
from the two campuses to chair the 
Partners for Progress development 
campaign. Previous campaigns had 
been led by civic and corporate 
leaders. Roger Nicholson remembers 
that it was not always easy to 
convince the University that alumni 
input and connection was crucial to 
VCU. "On numerous occasions Bill 
had to have the courage of his con- 
victions to say things that were risky. 
He always bet on the values and 
commitment of the alumni." 

LIVE LINKS 

lies holds a PhD in history, for him 
definitely a live subject. Early on, 
large photos of both campuses in the 
'50s decorated his office. He spent 
many lunch hours poring over year- 
books and histories of both MCV 
and RPI. "I realized that MCV stmg- 
gled for survival in the nineteenth 
century. Also, there were numerous 
unofficial connections between RPI 
and MCV. When MCV's president. 
Dr. W. T. Sanger, needed a nursing 



school or occupational therapists, 
he'd call RPI founder and president, 
Henry Hibbs, who would set up a 
program. Medical campus students 
worked at aU the hospitals near the 
RPI campus, and dated and married 
RPI women." 

lies' "comprehensive knowledge 
of the history of RPI, MCV and VCU 
was extremely valuable to me as an 
outsider," Wyeth comments. "I 
relied heavily on Bill's insight as to 
why certain things evolved as they 
did, and I gained an understanding 
of the values of this university." 

Marsha Shuler '74BS '79MA/B 
was president of the VCU AA board 
and served on the Alumni House com- 
mittee. "When Bill came in, he had an 
energy and an interest in connecting 
alumni with current areas," she says. 
"He was fascinated with whatever was 
happening at the University." 
Pharmacy alumna Bertha Rolfe 
'47BS/P concurs. "He was a wonderful 
person to work with, always very 
interested in everything that was 
going on, and most capable." 

New programs brought alumni 
back to VCU for Reunions, like the 
first fornial RPI Reunion in 1995. 
Mentoring programs like the Extem 
Program linked alumni with cunent 
students. Shafer Court Cormectiom was 
aeated for alumni from RPI and the 
Academic Campus. Communications 
were updated to new technology at 
the website, www.vcu-mcvalumni.org; 
VCUAA's first e-newsletter went out 
this March. 

Bruce Twyman '74BSA1C first 
president of the African American 
Alumni Council, recalls, "Bill and the 
Alumni Activities staff were instru- 
mental in establishing the Council. 
His encouragement in what we were 
trying to do energized me, and made 
me feel connected to VCU." Those 
ties are now so strong that 300-400 
alumni come back for Reunion every 
spring. The Council has created a 
scholarship and mentoring activities 
for African American students. 

Ken Magill mentions lies' "team- 
building skills," evident with both 
alumni boards and with his staff. lies 
(Continued on page 40) 



SHAFER. COURT 26 CONNECTIONS 



Z^HILi!lLO.L 




*Member of the VCU Alumni Association 

1960s 

R. Edward Brown '64BS/B is director of 
financial services for the County of 
Gloucester, VA. • 'Harriet Cooley '66BFA 

is executive director of the National Towing 
& Recovery Association of America. • 
Wilbur Ellis '68BS/B is a sales representa- 
tive for the Control Corporation of America. 

• *Edward Flippen '65BS/B is a partner 
with McGuireWoods LLP and was named 
to the Board of Trustees for VCU's Inger 
and Walter Rice Center for Environmental 
Life Sciences. « *Steven Green '69BS/B is 
a financial systems director at Miller 
Brewing Company in Milwaukee. He lives in 
Waukesha, Wl. • *Stuart Goldman '66BS/B 
is a managing partner for Betz & Goldman 
LLP CPAs in Silver Spring, MD. • Frank 
Lansinger '68BS/B is a principal for 
Lansinger-Craddock Architectural Partners. 

• Walter McGhee '64BFA owns McGhee 
Fundraising Consultants, Inc. in Toledo. He 
is currently president of the Toledo Rotary 
Club. He lives in Maumee, OH. • *Howard 
Minor '69BS/B is president of Minor 
Financial Strategies in Richmond. • 
Thomas O'Brien '68BS/B is a drafting/GIS 
supervisor for Henrico County, VA. • 
Norman Olshansky '69BSW is president of 
NFP Consulting Resources, Inc. in Sarasota, 
FL » *Dr. Dennis OToole'68MS/B, a VCU 
economics professor, received the Kenneth 
G. Elzinga Distinguished Teaching Award 
from the Southern Economics Association. 

• *Carolyn Prescott '69BS/E is owner and 
president of Lifelines, Inc., a writing and 
publishing business in White Stone, VA. • 
*John Schwartz '69BS/A is a managing 
director in the Real Estate division of Have 
Site Will Travel, Ltd. • Dr. Wayne Talley 
'68MS/B was appointed the executive 
director of International Maritime Ports and 
Logistics Institute at Old Dominion 
University. He is also the editor-in-chief of 
Transportation Research PartE: Logistics 
and Transportation Review. • Teresa 
Wickham '69BS/B is a training specialist for 
SunTrust Bank. 

1970s 

David Allen '74BS/1VIC is the business 
editor for the Star-Ledger'm Newark, NJ. • 
*John Allen '79MS/B is the IT auditor for 



the City of Richmond. • Steve Atkinson 
'75BS/B '77MS is director of human 
resources for Philip Morris. • James 
Babnew '75BFA owns an insurance 
company in Marmora, NJ. • *Kathleen 
Barrett 71BS '73MS/B is the vice president 
of the American Red Cross in Richmond. « 
Robert Belcher 71 MBA is president of 
Contract Interior Services, Inc. in Florida. • 
Norman Blalock Jr 70AS/En is a senior 
electrical engineer for Sierra Lobo, Inc. at 
the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. • 
Geoffrey Byrd 71BS/H&S 76MS/AH is a 
mental health counselor with Counseling 
Associates, PC in Winchester, VA. « *John 
Carter Jr. 72BFA is president of Carter 
Communications in Thomasville, NC. ' 
*Robert Carter 74MEd is principal of Capon 
Bridge Elementary School in Capon Bridge, 
WV. ♦ *David Clements 70BS/MC married 
Catherine Kaiser on October 19, 2002. He 
owns DWC Photography, and manages 
C&W singer Kevin Black. • Rowland 
Creamer 77BFA is a maintenance assistant 
for BB&T in Richmond. » *Randall 
Edwards 79BS/HS married Terri Lupien on 
November 20, 2003. They live in Midlothian, 
VA. • Karen Eide77BFA owns Graphic 
Design and Advertising in Carrollton, VA. ■* 
*J. Michael Everett 74BS/B is chair/CEO of 
Thompson Everett Inc. in Glen Allen, VA. • 
Larry Fentriss 79MBA is president of 
Anderson & Strudwick Investment 
Corporation. « Marjory Franklin 76BSW is 
a school psychologist for Arlington, VA 
Public Schools. • *Carmen Foster 
74BS/MC, executive director of the Grace 
E. Harris Leadership Institute at VCU, was a 
Richmond YWCA Woman of the Year in 
Education. She was a Kellogg National 
Leadership Fellow and executive director of 
the Master's in Leadership Studies at the 
University of Richmond. • Jayne 
Gackenbach '76MS '78PhD/H&S is an 
instructor of psychology and sociology at 
Grant MacEwan College. ' *Cynthia 
Gadberry '74BSW '76MSW is senior vice 
president and director of commercial 
banking for Sovereign Bank in Boston. • 
'George Gibbs Jr. '75BS/B is CFO for the 
Commonwealth of Virginia in Richmond. • 
Barbara Gibson '72BS/MC is an associate 
director of the Virginia Literacy Institute. ° 
*Nancy Gifford 72BFA is director of 
Corporate & Foundation Relations for 
InstitutionalAdvancementatthe College of 
Saint Rose in Albany, NY. • *DanielGill 
'72BS/B is the vice president/principal of 
Dayvon Services, Inc. in Burke, VA, where 
he lives. • *Larry Greene '74BS/B is trea- 
surer of American Legion Boys State of 
Virginia, and is also on the Bay Trust 
Company Board of Directors. • John Gould 



75BS/H&S was elected to the 
Hopewell/Prince George Chamber of 
Commerce and is an attorney with Marks & 
Harrison in Richmond. • Gail Harding 
'73BFA is the president/publisher of The 
Enterprise in Stuart, VA. • Craig Hartley 
'72MS/H&S is a human factors engineering 
architect for Sun Microsystems in Menio 
Park, CA. • 'Lindsay Harrington '73BS/B is 
a realtor for Coldwell Banker NRT in Punta 
Gorda, FL. She is in her fourth term in the 
Florida House in District #72, Southwest 
Florida, where she is also the speaker pro 
tempore. • 'Stephanie Holt 74BS/B is an 
account manager for Xerox Corporation in 
Richmond. • Inge Horowitz '71MEd co- 
authored a book titled Understanding 
Learning Disabilities: A Parent Guide and 
Workbook. - 'Dennis Hughes '75BS/B 
'79MPA/H&S is a health services director in 
West Palm Beach, FL. • Nancy Mathieson- 
Jeffers '76BS/E is a team leader for Camden 
National Corporation for the IT division in 
Rockport, ME. « Matthew Kenny III 
'76BS/H&S is a semiconductor engineering 
manager with Philips Electronics in 
Sunnyvale, CA. • 'Kenneth Kirby '70BS/B 
is owner of Kenneth W. Kirby, CPA in 
Easton, MD. • JodyKorman'79BS/Bwas 
awarded the Century 21 Ruby Award in 
2003 Real Estate Sales. • Elizabeth 
Kornbluth '78BFA is head designer in the 
Boys Department of Longstreet INDS in 
New York City. • Lewis Lehman '73BS/B is 
human resources manager for Novo 
Nordisk in Montes Claros, Brazil. • Pamela 
Lewis '73BFA is a voice-over actor with 
Freelance of NYC and wrote Talking Funny 
for Money: An Introduction to the 
Cartoon/Character/Looping Area of Voice- 
Overs She is the voice of Chubb Insurance 
on Antiques Roadshow on PBS. ' 'Edward 
Livesay '78BS/B is owner and broker of 
Greystarr Properties, LLC in Colorado. • 
'John MacLellan '73BFA owns John 
MacLellan Photos & Design in Richmond. " 
Michael Mays '72BS/B owns the Law 
Office of Michael A. Mays in Fairfax, VA. • 
Jim McNeal 77MS/H&S owns the Dive 
Shop in Richmond. • Thomas Mercer 
'79BS/H&S is director of Retail Operations 
for Kingsdown, Inc. in Mebane, NC. ° 
Douglas Meredith '75BA/H&S is director of 
economic development in Gloucester 
County, VA. • Karen Millnick '77BFA is 
director of Workshops and On-Going 
Programs for Sevenoaks Pathwork Center. 
• Wendy Mitchell '75BS/H&S works for the 
VA Department of Agriculture. - Cheryl 
Moody '75BSW '79MSW is the director of 
Field Education in the School of Social 
Work at Florida Atlantic University in Boca 
Raton. • Robert Morrow ■75BS/MC is CEO 



SUMMER 27 2004 



Hi 



VCU Alumni Association 

SEPTEMBER 16 
Faculty Convocation 
VCUAA Board Meeting 

NOVEMBER 22-30 

Italy— the Cultural Season 

Alumni Campus Abroad 

DECEMBER 11 

WINTER COMMENCEMENT 2004 

Comencement Breakfast 

JANUARY 3-18 

Alumni Extern Program 

JANUARY 

VCUAA Board Meeting 

FEBRUARY 
Homecoming 

MARCH 14-18 

Alumni Extern Program 

MARCH 28 

Prospective Student Calling Program 

APRIL 

Destination Imagination 

APRIL 29-MAY1 

AAAC REUNION 2005 

MAY 22 

COMMENCEMENT 

Comencement Breakfast 



of eSchool News in Bethesda, MD. • 
*Thomas Mountcastle '75BS/B is president 
of James River Technical, Inc. • Carolyn 
Norton 78BFA owns Carolyn Mclntyre 
Norton Design & Illustration in New 
Concord, OH. ' A. Thomas Park '75BS/B is 
the deputy chief financial officer for the U.S. 
Department of Transportation in 
Washington, DC. • Macon Pegram '74BS/B 
is an associate pastor at the Manassas 
BaptistChurch in Manassas, VA. • Diane 
Perkins '74BS '76MS/B is a senior purchas- 
ing systems analyst for Philip Morris, USA 
in Richmond. " Mary Peters '70BS/MC 
owns Lifewishes Publishing in Pasadena, 
CA. ■' Thomas Peters '78BS/A is president 
of Computer Aided Design Firm in 
Richmond. • Baxter Phillips '75BS/B 
'76MBA is the senior vice president and 
CFG of Massey Energy Company. • James 
Polley '76BS/B is president of James E. 
Polley, CPA in Pikeville, KY, where he lives. 
• Willis Pope '78BS/B is director of the 
Real Property Department for Henrico 
County, VA. • Susan Reed '72BS/H&S 
works for the State of VA Department of 
Agriculture & Consumer Services. • 
*Deborah Richardson '73BS/H&S is a pro- 



fessor and chair of psychology at Augusta 
State University in Augusta, GA, where she 
lives. • *DougRiddeir73BS/MC wrote the 
fonward to Kalmbach Publishing's book The 
Faces of Railroading. He is an Amtrak 
engineer and was a guest on the national 
radio show. Voices of America, in April, 
2004. « *Sandra Riddel! '75BS/E'79MEd 
has been a teacher for more than 28 years 
and a library information specialist in 
Henrico County Public Schools. She was 
selected as the planning librarian to open 
her second library in Greenwood 
Elementary of Henrico, VA. She is a 
member of Nickelodeon's National 
Educator Advisory Panel and writes 
monthly lesson plans for Nickelodeon's 
NICK NEWS. • *DarleneRodgers'71BFAis 
atechnical instructor for the VCU Health 
System in the information systems division. 
She is also a training and education project 
leader for Health Informatics Inc. in 
Richmond. ' John Sands '69BS/B '73MS/B 
is an entrepreneurial studies program 
lecturer at Western Washington University 
in Bellingham, WA. • Dr. Carol Jambor- 
Smith '75BA '77MA/H&S is director of 
External Relations at the University of Notre 
Dame Law School. • *Steven Suessmann 
'75BFA teaches art and chairs the art 
department at Greensville County High 
School in Emporia, VA. « *Guy Thrift 
'71BS/B is president of Minuteman Press in 
Alexandria, VA. • *Maurice Tinsley 
'78BS/H&S is supervisor of the QVC Inc. 
Chesapeake,VA call center. • Arild Trent 
'77BS/B is director of Investor Relations for 
Virginia Community Development 
Corporation in Richmond. • *Kenneth 
Tuttle '78BS/H&S is the aviation group 
supervisor for the Air and Marine 
Interdiction Division of the U.S. Customs 
Service in Tucson. • Bruce Twyman 
'74BS/MC is director of public information 
and development forthe Virginia 
Department of Juvenile Justice in 
Richmond, where he lives. • Valerie 
Warner '75BS/E is a grant writer in Seat 
Pleasant, MD. • *L. Thomas Winfree Jr 
'74MS/H&S is a professor of criminal 
justice at New Mexico State University. He 
received the 2003 Dennis W. Darnall Faculty 
Achievement Award. • David Yu '74BS/B 
chairs the board of Summit National Bank 
in Atlanta. 

1980s 

Valerie Adkins '85BS/B is a senior 
advanced technology analyst for the 
Virginia Community College System. • Hal 
Allen '83BS/B is a branch manager for 
Sales in Lanham,MD. • *Henry Allen 
'85BS/H&S is president of Todd Allen, 
D.D.S., PA., in Leonardtown, MD. • Cindy 
Andrews '78BS/H&S '80MS/AH is execu- 
tive director of VCU Human Resources. • 
*P. Alan Armentrout '82BS/B is director of 
information technology at Anchor 



Pharmacies, Inc in Hampstead, MD. He 
lives in Mechanicsville,VA. • Suzanne 
Barr'85BS/B owns Azure Sky Resources in 
Thousand Oaks, CA. • Pam (Weller) Barton 
'80BME '80MMB is the coordinator for the 
Specialty Center for Arts Programs at 
Thomas Dale High School in Chesterfield 
County, VA. She lives with her husband, 
Steve Barton '83MM in Midlothian, VA. • 
John Beard '85BS/E is a guidance coun- 
selor with the Montgomery Public Schools 
in North Carolina. • Cheryl Black 
'86MS/H&S teaches biology at Aiken 
Technical College. • Keith Boswell 
'83BS/B is a senior manager for the Virginia 
Economic Development Partnership. • 
*Christa Kirchschlager-Brittell '88BS/H&S 
gave birth to twins. Hunter and Rebecca, on 
October 26, 2001. • Dean Brown '87BS/B 
was promoted to chief information officer at 
AmeriFee in Southborough, MA. • *Larry 
Buckman '87BS/H&S is owner and presi- 
dent of Residential Properties Investment 
Company. • Rick Bukoskey '87BFA is a 
senior designer with McClung Companies 
in Waynesboro, VA. • LeeBundy 
'88BA/H&S is vice president of sales for 
NSL Sales, Inc. in Richmond. • Kenneth 
Cahoon '84BFA is a video technician in 
Forii, Italy. • David Callahan '89BFA is an 
assistant architect for the city of Newport 
News, VA. • Nicholas Canderelli '87BS/B 
is an accountmanagerfor General Electric 
Company in Richmond. • Sharon Capra 
'89BS/B is an Air Force Personnel Center 
program specialist for the U.S. Department 
of Defense in San Antonio, TX. • Robin 
Carter '87BS/E is the Pulley Career Center 
department chair for Fairfax County, VA 
Public Schools. • *R. Scott Carter 
'86BS/H&S is a patrol sergeant for Hanover 
County, VA Sheriff's Office. • Keven La 
Verdad Casey '89BS/MC is the news and 
sports director for Cumulus Broadcasting's 
Vi/ilmington, NC cluster. He is also a 
regional reporter for various other sports 
broadcast centers. • EricCipriano 
'84MSW is the chief of Social Work Service 
in the Department of Mental Health at 
William Beaumont Army Medical Center in 
Texas. • Kenneth Clark '81 BS/H&S is a ter- 
rorism training manager for the VA 
Department of Emergency Management. 
He lives in Henrico County, VA, with his 
wife Joanne and their children Sophia and 
Ethan. • Claire A. Collins '84MPA/H&S is a 
county administrator for the County of Bath. 
She was appointed by Governor Warner in 
November to a task force of three to assess 
state and local government response to 
Hurricane Isabel. She lives in Hot Springs, 
VA. • Elizabeth Crawford '88BS/H&S is a 
preservation planner atthe Bureau of 
Historic Preservation in Tallahassee, FL • 
William Daggett III '87BS/B is an employee 
benefit consultant with Kistler-Tiffany 
Benefits in Wayne, PA. He is also co-owner 
of The Jones Group. • Christina Day 



SHAFER COURT 28 CONNECTIONS 



'86BS/B is a database administrator for 
Hunton& Williams in Richmond. • Justin 
Deister '86MFA owns Self-Uppercase 
Design in Louisville, CO, • *Collins Denny 
IV '87BS/B launched Access Business in 
Richmond. • Donald DiLoreto '83BA/H&S 
is vice presidentofWachoviaBankin 
Philadelphia. • William Driver '87BFA is 
an emergency management officerfor 
the Tarrant County Fire Marshal's Office 
in Fort Worth, TX. • Calvin Duncan 
'88BS/H&S coaches the Heritage 
Christian basketball program. • *Eleanor 
Rumae Foddrell '82BS/B is a senior 
contract administrator with the City of 
Alexandria, VA. • Robert Forkins '83MBA 
is an associate principal engineer for 
Philip Morris, USA in Richmond. ♦ Janett 
Forte '87BS/H&S '92MSW is Richmond 
YWCA Woman of the Year in Government 
and Politics, chosen for her work to 
create safer homes and communities, 
especially in setting up a model of coordi- 
nated community response to domestic 
violence in Chesterfield County. Forte is 
executive director of VCU's National 
Center of Excellence in Women's Health 
and board presidentfor Virginians 
Against Domestic Violence. • Christy 
Frederick '83BFA won a $10,000 grant to 
study the impact of fashion on the culture 
and customs of Titustown from 1901 
through the early 1970s. • Joseph Fridley 
'81BA/H&S is the Supreme Court of 
Virginia's training manager for its Virginia 
Criminal Sentencing Commission. • 
Michael Fuller '81BS/B is vice president 
of IBM in Coral Gables, FL • Catherine 
Fust '86BS/H&S is a juvenile probation 
officer for the Clayton Co. Juvenile Court 
in Jonesboro, GA. • Bella (Karr)Gerlich 
'85BFA and Grant Gerlich '85/H&S 
appeared on TLC's design show Trading 
Spaces last September. Grant is curator 
at Pittsburgh's Soldiers and Sailors 
Memorial Hall and Museum Trust; Bella is 
head of Art and Special Collections at 
Carnegie Mellon University library and 
working toward a PhD in Library Science 
atthe University of Pittsburgh. • 
*Adrienne Gilliam '84MSW is chief pro- 
bation and parole officer for the VA 
Department of Corrections. • *Georgette 
Glen '84BS/B is a loan consultant for 
Washington Mutual in Princeton, NJ. She 
lives in Cranbury, NJ. • *Eugene 
Grecheck '82MBA is vice president of 
Nuclear Support Services for Dominion 
Energy, Inc. in Glen Allen, VA. • Timothy 
Grollimund '82MA/B is owner and presi- 
dent of Apex Global Solutions LLC in 
Midlothian, VA. « MarkHansan 
'84BS/MC is the senior vice president of 
TheraCominBethesda, MD. • Darlene 
Harris '86BSW '87MSW is the comman- 
'der of U.S. Public Health Service in 
Springfield, MO. • *Joe Hart'81BS/B is a 
field sales analyst 3 for RJReynolds 



Tobacco Company. He lives in Pocono 
Pines, PA. • Val Haskins '80BS/H&S is in 
medical sales at Merck. • David Hatch 
'85BS/B is a senior internal auditor with 
Anthem Insurance Company. He lives in 
Chester, VA. • Troy Hedblom '88BS/B 
married Jacqueline Cook on August 3, 2002. 
• Thomas Hilterbrant'83MFA teaches at 
The Collegiate School in Richmond. • 
Sharon Hoang '86BS/H&S is a laboratory 
manager in the Department of 
Gastroenterology at UVA. • Dr. David 
Hofheimer'82BS/H&S '85BS/E is a chiro- 
practor in Benicia,CA. » ^Stephen 
Holloran '80BFA is the payroll production 
quality assurance analyst for Automatic 
Data Processing in Alpharetta, GA. • 
Virginia Holman '88BA/H&S published a 
memoir of her mother's untreated schizo- 
phrenia titled Rescuing Patty Hearst. She 
won Outstanding Literature Award of the 
National Alliance for the Mentally III and a 
Pushcart Prize in nonfiction. • John 
Hoppenthaler '88MFA wrote a book of 
poetry titled Lives of Water. He is also a 
personal assistant to Nobel Laureate Toni 
Morrison and poetry editor of Kestrel. « 
Michael Huffner '89BS/B is manager of 
Environmental Health and Services for 
Nabisco. • Scott Hull '87BS/H&S works for 
the U.S. Government in information systems 
and is chief of the Network Engineering 
Branch. ' AtuI Jain '86BS/H&S is president 
of Dynamic Systems Technology, Inc. " 
*Thomas Jamerson '88BS/B is a general lit- 
igation lawyer for PhelpsDunbar, LLP in 
Jackson, MS. • Carole Jennings '83BS/E is 
principal of Thunder Ridge High School in 
Highlands Ranch, CO. " William Johnson 
'83BFAteaches art for Richmond Public 
Schools. • Henry Jones '84BS/B is vice 
president of First Virginia/BB&T in Falls 
Church, VA. • Jeffrey Jones '81 BS/H&S 
works for Kraft Foods Global, Inc. as the 
senior manager of Facility and Fleet 
services in the DSD Company division. East 
Hanover, NJ. • *Richard Koch '80BS/B is a 
systems analyst with UnumProvident 
Corporation. « JohnKoehler'SOBFAis 
president of Koehler Studios, Inc. in Virginia 
Beach. • Tom Landers '87BS/B is president 
of the Virginia School of Sailing in 
Richmond. He was awarded Instructor of 
the Year on February 12, 2004 by the 
American Sailing Association and the 
school awarded School of the Year. • 
R. Steven Landes '83BS/MC is majority 
caucus chair for Virginia House of 
Delegates, serving his fifth term represent- 
ing the 25th House District. He also serves 
on House Education, Appropriations, 
Health, Welfare and Institutions 
Committees. He is the executive director of 
NewBiz Virginia in Verona, VA, and lives in 
Weyers Cave, VA. » Kirk Laughlin 
'87BS/MC is the executive editor for 
America's Networl< Magazine. « John 
Lawson '87MA/H&S is vice president of 



Pennsylvania Communication Association. 
• William Lipscomb '80MBA founded the 
architectural firm of Acanthus Architecture 
& Design Dr. John Mason '78BA/H&S 
'84MEd is a clinical psychologist for 
Hampton-Newport News CSB. =■ Steven 
McKinley '85MBA is senior vice president 
of BB&T Capital Markets in Richmond. 
Michael McOsker '80MS/MC is an associ- 
ate broker with Thalimer/Cushman& 
Wakefield in the Virginia Beach office. • 
Linda Meyerhoffer '81BS/B owns Benefit 
Solutions, Inc. in Midlothian, VA, where she 
lives. • *CecilMillner'78BS'82MACC/Bis 
a senior transfer price analyst for the Ethyl 
Corporation in Richmond. • Lawrence 
Mink '83BS/H&S is a section manager of 
the Analytical and Computational 
Technology Center at Rohm and Haas 
Company in Pennsylvania. » Charles Moss 
'87BS/H&S is a communication specialist 
forAT&TinOakton,VA. '■ *Ellen Motley 
'86BS/MC is a librarian for the Washington 
Information Group in Arlington, VA. ^ 
*Thomas Mountcastle '75AS '80BS/B is 
chair of the board of Leadership Metro 
Richmond. M.Myers Mutch '81 BFA is 
president of Gracie Street Interior Design, 
Inc. in West Palm Beach, FL. George 
Nairn '89BS/H&S owns Capital 
Investigation & Enforcement Services of 
Virginia. Victor Newman '88BFA is 
creative director for Freestyle Collective in 
NYC. - Peter O'Neill '80BA/H&S is a senior 
campaign communications specialist in 
Public Relations for the Service Employees 
International Union. ' Victor Overby 
'82BS/B is vice president of information 
services for Davenport & Company in 
Richmond. ^ DonOwen'84BS/Bisthe 
senior quality control consultant for Fannie 
Mae in Washington, DC. = Richard 
Pearson '84BS/B is a financial planner in 
Carlsbad, CA. ' Brent Penny '86BS/B is an 
internal review officer for the US Army in 




Spend Thanksgiving this year in beautiful Orvieto, 
Italy with the Alumni Campus Abroad in Italy — 
the Cultural Season. Visit the cities of Rome, 
Florence, Perugia and Assisi, November 22-30, 
2004. Enjoy seven nights of accommodations at 
the first-class Hotel Aquila Bianca in Orvieto and 
three scrumptious meals each day. For more 
information, call (804) 828-2586. 



SUMMER 29 2004 



Italy as part of the Joint Command South 
division. • Julie Peters '87BS/B is a 
medical management consultant for 
Highmark Blue Shield Insurance in Camp 
Hill, PA. • Vicki Phillos '85BS/H&S is a 
technicals customer service managerfor 
Dynal Biotech, Inc. in Lake Success, NY. • 
Peter Phipps '82BSW is an assistant pro- 
fessor at Dutchess Community College in 
Poughkeepsie, NY. • Todd Pilot '85BS/H&S 
is an attorney for Tmlnstitute, LLC in 
Alexandria, VA. - Emily Porter '87BA/H&S 
is vice president of marketing for World 
Access Communications in Richmond. • 
Thomas Prothro '84BFA is a visual informa- 
tion specialist for the Army at Fort Bragg in 
the ITBC-Graphics Office. • Samuel Purvis 
'89MFA is project manager for Browning 
Moore Associates in Rutland, VT. ♦ Dr. 
Dean Reardon '82BS '85MS/H&S is an 
assistant professor of pharmacology at 
University of Louisiana at Monroe. • 
*Cassandra Reynolds '85BS/B is an admin- 
istrative coordinator for Hunton & Williams 
Church Hill Office in Richmond. • Dr. Woo 
Rho '86BS '87MS/H&S is an associate pro- 
fessor of computer science at Bucheon 
College in Bucheon, South Korea. • Scott 
Richards '89BS/B is regional sales manager 
in the Gypsum Products division of Georgia- 
Pacific Corporation. • Robert Riddle 
'84BFA works for the Library of Congress as 
a senior designer in the Facilities Design 
and Construction Department. ' John 
Rives '86BS/MC is a publisher for Comprint 
Military Publications in Gaithersburg, MD. • 
Edgar Roca '88BA/H&S teaches Spanish at 
Valley Regional High School in Deep River, 
CT. • Debra Ropelewski '88MBA is assis- 
tant dean of finance at VCU. ' Daniel 
Rudge '88MURP/H&S is executive director 
of Ozarks Transportation Organization in 
Springheld, MO. • 'Christopher Russel 
'EQBFA is a psychotherapist in New York 
City, where he lives. • Julia Sautter 
'85BS/B is the private banking and trust 
product manager for SEI Investments in 
Oaks, PA. • Craig Scott '89BS/B is a 
partner with the Law Offices of Scott & Guy 
P.A. in North Miami Beach, FL, where he 
lives. • Dwayne Smith '85BS/MC is a 
research associate for Policy Studies 
Associates in the Education division in 
Washington, DC. <^ Joseph Solari '88MBA 
is senior vice president of Houlihan Lokey 
Howard & Zukin Investment Banking 
Services in Chicago. " William Springer 
'87BS/B is a business banking officer. • 
Claude Stevens '81 MBA is a management 
analyst for Richmond Redevelopment & 
Housing Authority in Richmond. » *lke 
Stoneberger'86IV1FA teaches at Loudoun 
Valley High School in Purcellville, VA. • 
George Swenck '80C/B is a self-employed 
accountant in Midlothian, VA. " Darlene 
Tate '88BSW works in sales & marketing 
for Verizon Wireless. » *Jody Teitelman 
'78MS '83PhD/H&S '83C/AH is an associate 
professor of occupational therapy at VCU's 



School of Allied Health Professions. • 
Susan Turner '81BFA is the onsite coordina- 
tor for American Express One in Richmond. 
• *Felicia Tyler '83BS/H&S is manager of 
the South-Eastern Family Project in 
Newport News, VA. • Michael Ventrella 
'81BA/H&S is an attorney with Zito, 
Martino & Karasek in Brodheadsville, PA. • 
Steven VonCanon '83MBA is the director 
offinancial management forthe Virginia 
Department of Environmental Quality. ♦ 
*Joseph Walsh '70BS/E '82MBA is CIO 
of DeLeeuw Associates, Inc/CSI in 
Gainesville, GA. • Kathryn Weathington 
'83BS/H&S is a data analyst for Verispan 
LLC in Yardley, PA. » Phyllis (Dyer) Weldon 
'77BFA '83C/B is CEO of Eolus, Inc. She lives 
with her two daughters in Raleigh, NC. • 
Carolyn Wells '85BFA is the production 
coordinator of Creative Services at VCU. • 
Stephen Wetta '89BA/H&S is an adjunct 
professor for Hunter College and NYU. • 
Herman Williams III '81BS/H&S is a colonel 
and student at the US Army War College in 
Carlisle, PA. • Michelle Woodhouse 
'89BS/E is director of academic affairs at 
Norfolk State University in Virginia Beach, 
VA. • *PeterZucker'81MS'MPhD/H&S 
co-owns Stars Behavioral Health Group 
in Oakland, CA. He lives in Manhattan 
Beach, CA. 



Iman Abdussabur '96BS/H&S is a consul- 
tant at Robert Half Technology. She lives in 
Richmond. • *Michael Alao '99BS/B is a 
senior associate for Pricewaterhouse 
Coopers LLP in the Assurance-Internal 
Audit Services division in Tyson's Corner, 
VA. • ZaccariahAllen'99BS/Bisaweb 
development manager at American 
Specialty Health in San Diego. • *Lynn 
Anderson '99MSW is a social work supervi- 
sor for the Richmond Department of Social 
Services. • Rebecca Askew '94MPA/H&S 
is a policy analyst for the Virginia 
Department of Agriculture in Richmond. • 
*Anne Atkinson '75MSW 'gSPhD/E is presi- 
dent of PolicyWorks, Ltd. in Richmond. • 
Donnie Aton '99MAE is an aesthetic 
educator forthe Montgomery County Public 
Schools in Germantown,MD. • Stephanie 
Ayers '96MURP/H&S is a marketing planner 
at Northrop Grumman in the Civil Systems 
division. " Judy Baker '92BS/B is manager 
of financial reporting for Sarasota Memorial 
Healthcare System, Inc. in Sarasota, FL. • 
Jacquelyn Barnes '99BS/H&S teaches in 
Hanover County Public Schools. • *Stefan 
Bauer '92BS/B is a senior programmer 
analyst for First North American National 
Bank in Richmond. « *KentBausman 
'94MS/H&S is an assistant professor of 
sociology in Saint Louis, MO. • Matthew 
Bellingham '91BFA owns Duo Art & Design 
in Portland, OR. » *Melissa Berling 
'97BA/H&S is a sales representative for 
Augie Lange Realty in Richmond. • 
Stephanie Berry '93BS/H&S is a paralegal 



for Miller & Associates in Alexandria, VA, 
where she lives. • Mark Bittner 
'92MURP/H&S married Jennifer Roberts on 
August 23, 2003. • JevaundaBond 
'94BS/MC is a technical director for KVBC- 
TV Channel 3 in Las Vegas. • *Jay Boucher 
'92BFA is the senior designer for MTV.com. 
He lives in Hoboken, NJ. • Stacey Brann 
'94BS/MC is the assistant director of athlet- 
ics and media relations for Long Island 
University in Brooklyn. • Claudia 
Brookman '93BA/H&S '93MT is director of 
research and administrative services in the 
Advancement Office of Randolph-Macon 
College in Ashland, VA. • ErinBrophy 
'99BS/MC is a creative associate for 
National Media Inc. in Alexandria, VA, 
where she lives. • Carl Brown '98C/B is a 
system analyst for the International Mission 
Board in Richmond. • Chris Burger '94BS/B 
is a marketing analyst for Luck Stone in 
Richmond. • 'Marshall Burke '99MBA is 
with Cushman & Wakefield's Financial 
Services Group in Washington, D.C. • 
'Elizabeth Burroway '93BS/B is the senior 
associate director of special events forthe 
University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer 
Center in Houston. • Dr. Nimit 
Chomnawang '99MS/En is an assistant pro- 
fessor in the School of Electrical 
Engineering at Suranaree University of 
Technology in Thailand. • Barameth 
Choochan '99BS/H&S is a security engineer 
for Neustar in Sterling, VA. • Elizabeth 
Cloe '92BFA married Eamon Shanahan on 
August 16, 2003. She works at Deutsche 
Bank. • William Commander '98BS/B is 
the senior systems administrator for Circuit 
City in Richmond. • Gregory Cooper 
'99MSWis assistant director of the Health 
Professions Preparation Program at the 
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. • 
Gabriel Corbett '95BS/B is a realtor for Long 
& Foster Realtors in Richmond. • Mark 
Creasy '91BA/H&S is an operations system 
trainer for Technology Training Associates 
in Tampa, FL. • Scott Cuervo '90BFA is a 
pre-press designer for Uptown Color in 
Richmond. • 'George Daly '95PhD/H&S is 
president of DalyWeb in Nanuet, NY. ♦ 
Terrence Daniels '94BGS/H&S is a co-pilot 
for Air Net in Philadelphia. • Ruba 
Darwaza '95BFA married Matthew Borgard 
on August 23, 2003. • 'Robert Dickerson 
'90BS/B is manager of human resource 
business intelligence for Dominion 
Resources, Inc. in Richmond. • Heather 
Dillon '96BFA is an elementary art educator 
for Richmond Public Schools. • Bobby 
Dizon '94BS/H&S is an analyst for 
Accenture in Reston, VA. He lives in Burke, 
VA. • Michelle Dodson '98BS/H&S is a 
PROMIS technician for Infineon 
Technologies of Sandston,VA. • 'Robert 
Dry Jr '76BS/H&S '97C/B is a syste ms 
development manager forthe Department 
of Environmental Quality in Richmond. • 
Pat Dungan '95BFA is CEO of Quaker 
Swamp Farm in Suffolk, VA. • Samuel 



SHAFER COURT 30 CONNECTIONS 



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BY ELIZABETH McDADE ■93MFA/H8iS 

When Dr. Betsy Singh '69BS '73MS '88PhD/H&S finished her 
VCU doctorate in experimental psychology, she didn't realize 
she was heading into a career as a translator, although wth 
bachelor's and master's degrees in sociology as well, she crosses 
borders easily. As Dean of Research at Southern California 
University of Health Sciences, Singh helps Western physicians 
"translate" successful traditional medical practices into Western 
therapeutic protocols. 

"1 have to be bilingual," she says. "1 have an excellent science 
underpinning and research design from my study at VCU, espe- 
cially from Dr. J.S. Williams, former head of the Survey Research 
Laboratory in sociology, and Dr. Bob Hamm, who was head of 
Experimental Psychology in the 1980s. 1 use that training to 
'speak the language' of a clinical scientist to Western physicians 
about traditional modes of therapy." 

Unlike drug interventions. Complementary and Alternative 
Medicine (CAM) modalities have been in use for thousands of 
years. Singh explains, "It is important to value the empirical 
success of these therapies, to recognize that written documenta- 
tion of these therapies goes back 5000 years. On the other hand, 
clinical trials conducted in a reductionist way may communicate 
better to the Western trained scientist or physician. So we do 
clinical controlled trials while continuing patient treatment — as 
opposed to a conventional drug model where testing must be 
completed before the public is exposed to the drug. Each year, 
more evidence convincing to Western-trained physicians is col- 
lected, giving patients and physicians more options to maximize 
patient recovery." 

Singh's work in CAM took off through research on chronic 
pain. She was director of a Survey Research Unit and later a 
Clinical Research Unit at the University of Maryland. She was 
the first director of Research in CAM at UM, where the program 
secured millions of dollars in funding from NIH, private founda- 
tions and the University. 

One study was a two-month intervention with 60 patients 
suffering from osteoarthritis, chronic back pain, and fibromyal- 
gia. Fibromyalgia is a chronic debilitating musculoskeletal 
disorder with a high degree of pain, significant mood alteration, 
and high disability rates. "These people came to us because 
Western science had failed them," she says. "They'd already 
done physical therapy, they'd taken pain medications and 
muscle relaxers; and they were in worse shape than when 
they'd entered the system. Some of them were using walkers 
and barely mobile." 

Researchers met with patients once a week for two and half 
hours, in a multi-component intervention. Patients were 
educated about fibromyalgia and their body function, particular- 
ly in terms of pain and response to it. Through cognitive behav- 
ioral therapy, a psychological technique, they changed their 
responses to people and situations and faced daily problems 
more effectively. With reasonable expectations, patients could 
feel successful, not an.xious that they "never measured up." The 
third component was mindfulness meditation, which helped 
them stay focused in the moment to manage stiess and pain. 
They regained flexibility and range of motion with qi gong, a 
very gentle moving meditation and breath awareness that 
embodies the precept, "You cannot fail." Qi gong encouraged 
people who hardly moved because of pain to indeed exercise. 

"Not only did people get better, they got better in droves! The 
astonishing thing about our mind-body intervention was that 
not only did patients improve, but after the intervention was 




9. 



<WV 



! 




completed, they continued to 
improve." says Singh. "They 
took their medicine with them 
in their heads. They had 
brought about a lifestyle change 
that markedly improved their 
health." UM has continued 
this work. 

In a recent eight-week study 
using acupuncture to heat 
fibromyalgia, Singh found 
amazing results, to be presented 
soon. In her work with 
osteoarthritis, Singh has found traditional Ayurvedic pharmo- 
copiea herbals which have produced striking recovery in patients 
about to undergo knee replacement surgery. These results have 
also been published. 

"In the early trials of CAM, scientists failed to pair up with 
alternative practitioners to design an effective trial," Singh 
explains. "Practitioners understand the context of the therapy. 
Scientists understand the measurement. If we're ever going to get 
an allopathic (conventional) physician to 'get' this, we need to 
speak in their language." 

It would be difficult to disregard evidence from someone 
with Singh's credentials. Fimily planted in both worlds, she is on 
the scientific review committee for the NIH-funded Consortial 
Center for Chiropractic Research as well as the Homeopathic 
Phamiacopeia of the U.S, an oversight committee for Homeo- 
pathy. She was an editor for Alternative Vierapies in Health and 
Medicine From 1998-03. She is a methodologist or co-primary 
investigator on several projects investigating complementary 
and conventional tteatments for musculoskeletal disorders. In 
2002 and 2003, Singh won the Research Excellence Award from 
SCU, and in 2002 the prestigious 'Blood of the Turnip' award. 

"Somehow, we have to communicate CAM's empirical 
success so that Western physicians will understand, value and 
use what is the best choice for the patient," says Singh. "The 
Ayurvedic and Chinese practitioners in University clinics where I 
have worked are all respected physicians in their own countries. 
They have the right to order MRIs and diagnostic tests in India 
and China. But when they get off the plane in the U.S., their 
medicine is suspect." 

Although California is open to CAM, "the East Coast has just 
a small core of CAM practitioners." That may be changing. 
When Singh gave a Research Methods workshop recentiy for 
Conemaugh Health Systems at the Murtha Neuroscience Center 
in Pennsylvania, the chair of neurology at the University of 
North Carolina attended along with other M.D.s in the 
Conemaugh system. M.D.s interested in CAM research came 
fiom as far away as Santa Fe, New Me.xico. 

Sometimes Singh can make her point less formally. After her 
fomier husband had extensive oral surgery, his surgeon handed 
him a pain prescription with "enough codeine to drop a horse." 
Singh took him directly from surgery to an experienced 
acupuncturist in the hospital. When the surgeon called later, he 
learned that his patient had taken two regular Tylenol and gone 
to a meeting. "I've never heard of anything like this before," he 
said, a little breathless. "Well, now you have," Singh replied with 
great satisfaction. 

Elizabeth McDade is a freelance communications specialist 
who lives hi Ashland, Virginia. 



SUMMER 31 2004 



Dunn '93BS/H&S is a pretrial services 
officer with the District of Columbia Pretrial 
Services Agency. He lives in Richmond. • 
Nelson Eby '98BS/H&S is a computer spe- 
cialistforthe Department of Justice. • 
Angela Edwards '93BS/H&S is an informa- 
tion systems project manager for Cadmus. 

• *Karen Eldridge '93BS/MC is a communi- 
cations officer for Henrico County Police in 
Richmond. • Amy Emmel '93BS/H&S is the 
registered nurse executive for Holy Cross 
Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, FL. • Leslie 
(Compton) Engott '93BA/AS married 
Raymond Engott on October 25, 2003. They 
live in Henrico County, VA. • Michael 
Fanguy '93BS/H&S is a lead reactor 
engineer for Dominion VA power in Surry, 
VA. • Kim Faulconer'95BS/B is the senior 
billing auditor for Hilldrup Moving and 
Storage in Stafford, VA. • Jonathan Fish 
'93BS/B is the commercial director of 
Intelligent Sensors PLC. He lives in London. 

• Kelly Filizola '93BS/B had her first child, 
Madeleine Amanda Filizola, on November 
10,2003. • Robert Fitzgerald '93BS/H&S is 
a sales representative for Dell Inc. in Round 
Rock,TX. • Dawn Freck 'BSBS/B is the 
payroll supervisor for Trader Publishing 
Company • Stacey Fredericks '94BA/H&S 
is owner of Landmark Legends in Fort 
Myers, FL. • *Ann Ford '97BFA is director 
of creative and prepress services for 
Choice Communications, Inc. in Richmond. 

• Lauren Ford '97BFA is an end user 
services site analyst for Capital One in 
Richmond. • Barbara Fornoff '90MSW is a 
self-employed licensed clinical social 
worker. • Janett Forte '87BS/H&S '92MSW 
is coordinator for the National Center of 
Excellence in Women's Health at VCD — 
one of 19 in the nation. The YWCA of 
Greater Richmond named her 2004 
Outstanding Woman in Government and 
Politics. She is a licensed clinical social 
worker and a crisis counselor/clinician. She 
is board president for Virginians Against 
Domestic Violence; a member of Attorney 
General's Advisory Council on Domestic 
Violence and Sexual Assault; and a consul- 
tant for the International Association of 
Chiefs of Police. • Margaret Foughner 
'98BA/H&S '98MT and Benjamin Griffon 
'98BA/H&S '98MT were married on October 
11,2003. She is a teacher and English 
Department chair at Fairfield Middle School 
in Henrico County, VA. He is a graphic 
designer with Howell Design. • Mary 
Francis '95BS/H&S is an SLD teacher for 
the Chesterfield County, VA Public Schools. 

• *Rowena Fratarcangelo '93MBA married 
Rowland Johnson on July 19, 2003. She is a 
property manager for Circuit City, Inc. • 
Gregory Galbraith '94MS/MC is an ad 
manager for Nike Corporation Advertising. 

• Dunald Garland '94BFA is creative 
direc or for Walz Tetrick Advertising in the 
Florida Office • Melissa Garland '91 BFA is 
product director for Tk20 in Austin, TX. • 
Ryan Gilliam '998FA is a senior CAD 



designer with Home Builder in Midlothian, 
VA • Stephen Golding '90MURP is 
manager of Business Support and 
Developmentforthecityof Rochester, NY. 

• *Joan Goodman '91 BA '94MS/H&S is a 
law clerk for the Supreme Court of Virginia. 

• Roger Gorey '91BGS/H&S is vice presi- 
dent of PMGIobal in Durham, NC. • 
Michael Gorman '93MS/MC is city editor 
for Thibodaux, LA Daily Comet. • Stephen 
Gratz '93BS/B married Ann Haskell on 
September 27, 2003. • David Graves 
'92BS/H&S is a network administrator for 
Virginia Asset Management in Richmond. • 
Robert Greene '92BS/H&S is president and 
CEO of the National Association of 
Investment Companies in Washington DC. • 
Julie Gregory '98BS/H&S is a quality assur- 
ance specifications coordinator for Wyeth 
Pharmaceuticals in Richmond, where she 
lives. * James Griffin '99BS/B is a develop- 
ment database administrator for Aetna 
Insurance in Blue Bell, PA. • Miliary Guess 
'90BA/H&S is a property manager with 
Clachan Properties, LLC in Richmond. ♦ 
Tracy Hale '94BS/B is an account executive 
for JRL Creative Marketing in Richmond. • 
Kathleen Hall '90MBA is owner of 
Marathon Marketing in Richmond. • 
Sigmundur Halldorsson '90BS/MC is web- 
master for Icelandair in Reykjavik. • Sean 
Hamilton '97BS/H&S is a special education 
teacherfor Page County Public Schools in 
Luray,VA. • Bradley Hanks '98BS/MC is a 
call center analyst for Time-Life in 
Richmond. • Jeannine Harkleroad '98BFA 
received the $50,000 Visual Gift of Freedom 
Award sponsored by the A Room of Her 
Own Foundation. • Wayne Hatton 
'98BS/H&S is a sales manager for Telecom 
in Falls Church, VA. • Ashley Haug 
'98MS/MC married Brian Sommardahl on 
July 19, 2003. She is an account executive 
for The Martin Agency in Richmond. • 
Jonathan Heglund '98BFA is a network 
engineer for Sprint in Reston,VA. • Mary 
Heller '99BA/H&S is a student advisor at 
George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. • 
*Thomas House '95BGS/H&S is a financial 
division police officer with the VCD Police. 

• Lindsay Howerton '92BFA is moderator of 
online discussion for Washingtonpost.com 
in Charlottesville, VA. • Kevin Hudson 
'97BS/H&S is a pre-release and internal 
investigator for the Rappahannock Regional 
Jail in Stafford, VA. • Morgan Huff 
'95BA/H&S is a multimedia designer for 
Media General in Richmond. • Keith 
Ingram '94BS/B is a CPT in the 82nd 
Airborne Division for the U.S. Army in 
Fayetteville, NC. • Adam Jackson 
'99BS/MC is a registration and licensing 
coordinator for Wachovia Securities LCC in 
Glen Allen. He lives in Richmond. • 
Elizabeth Johnson '98BS/MC married Ryan 
Greczek on September 27, 2003. • Martin 
Johnson '99BS/MC and Elizabeth 
Danielson '99BS/H&S were married on July 
19, 2003. She teaches at Prince George 



County Schools and is a lobbyist with Virginia 
Association of Realtors. • Lynnette Jones 
'90BS/MC is a producer for Scripps 
Productions in NYC. • William Kanto III 
'95MBA owns GDO Capital in Wayne, PA. • 
Andrew Kaplan '97BS/MC is a broadband 
technician for Comcast in Richmond, where he 
lives. • Colby Kay '94BS/H&S is the community 
development director at the YMCA of Chester, 
VA. • P. Lynne Kelly '97MFA works for the 
College of William & Mary in accounting. • 
Christina Kettenacker '93BS/MC married 
JamesHolton January 3, 2004. • Sharon Klotz 
'96MEd married Mark Pittman on October 4, 
2003. • Jessica Kovalcik'93BFA gave birth to 
a son, August Hayes, on June 20, 2002. • 
*Demris Lee '90BS/H&S is technical leader 
and laboratory manager atthe Armed Forces 
DNA Identification Laboratory in Rockville, MD. 
She received the Civilian Meritorious and 
Special Recognition awards from the Armed 
Forces IP for her work identifying victims of 
September 11 attacks. • Felicia Lewis '96BS/B 
is a marketing specialist for Divaris Real Estate, 
Inc. in Richmond. • John Lindsey '90BFA is the 
senior manager of creative services atthe 
Consumer Electronics Association in Arfington, 
VA. He lives in Falls Church, VA. • Jeffrey Link 
'95BS/B is director of process improvement for 
Best Software in Scottsdale,AZ. • Stephen 
Loderick '99MBA is vice president, CFO, and 
treasurer for W.R. Berkley Corporation Mid- 
Atlantic Group in Richmond. • Robert Lumley 
'95MBAisvice presidentfor Newman Capital 
in Denver. He lives in Littleton, CO. • Edward 
Macejka '95BS/MC is an operations manager 
for the NortheastdivisionofAXA Advisors, LLC 
in Falls Church, VA. • J. Dan Martin '90BS/B is 
the regional manager for Ameritas Group 
Dental & Eye Care in Dallas. • Neely Martin 
'95BFA married Brian Crum on September 13, 
2003. She is employed at Circuit City in 
Richmond, where they live. • Laura Matney 
'88BS '91MS/H&S is a managing attorney with 
Matney Law Firm, LLC. in Rockville, MD, where 
she lives. • Julia May '95MA '99PhD/A is an 
associate curator for the Kluge-Ruhe 
Collection atthe University of Virginia. • *Larry 
McCauley '91BS/B works for Capital One in the 
technology delivery department in Glen Allen, 
VA. • Heather McHugh'96BS/B married Br/an 
White on March 27, 2004. • Dmitry Melnick 
'98BS/B is the equity linked products division 
vice president for Wachovia Securities in Old 
Greenwich, CT. • Kelli Miller '91 BS/MC is 
managing editor for NewsRX in Atlanta. She 
also owns NewScience. • Max Miller 
'92BS/MC was named "Director of Operations 
of the Year-Large Market" for Metro Networks, 
in Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX. • Michelle Miller 
'99BA/H&S '99MT is a financial advisor with 
American Express Financial Advisors in 
Centerville, VA. • Franklin Monsour 
'99BA/H&S is a law clerk for the United States 
Court of Appeals, Second Circuit in New York 
City. • Mickey Moore '90BS/B is a new 
product implementation leader for GE Financial 
Assurance in Lynchburg, VA. • Timothy Morris 
'98BS/B is a fraud prevention manager with 



SHAFER COURT 32 CONNECTIONS 



MBNA America. He lives in Newark, DE. • 
Michelle Moyer '91BFA is the creative director 
for Dynamic Aviation Group, Inc. in 
Bridgewater.VA. • Robin Nelson '95BFA is a 
project manager for Carolina Business 
Interiors in Cfiarlotte, NC. • Catherine (Price) 
Newman '96BFA married Greg Newman on 
June 8, 2002. They live in Richmond. Catherine 
is a senior account executive at Bank of 
America. • Shelley Nichols '92BFA is owner of 
Ultimate Cake in Maimb, Sweden. • *Roger 
Nicholson '68BS/H&S '97PhD/E is the associ- 
ate minister for the First Presbyterian Church in 
Pensacola, FL. • Melissa Nolan '93BS/MC 
married John Barkley on September 27, 2003. • 
Kevin Nybakken '96MSW is a psychiatric 
social worker for the Moccasin Bend Mental 
Health Institute in Chattanooga, TN. • Chloma 
Onyekwere '91BS/H&S is president of The CO 
Group in Yonkers, NY, where she lives. • 
Frances Owens '94BSW works in human 
resources at VMS, Inc. in Richmond. • 
Kimberly Pallister '93BS/MC is a software 
engineer for Northrop Grumman. She lives in 
Leesburg,VA. • Leander Pambid '96BS/H&S is 
the town planner for Town of South Boston, 
VA. • Alvin Pearsall '97BS/H&S married 
Renee Crocker on September 27, 2003. • 
Jason Pensler '96BS/H&S is a gifted and 
talented school-based specialist for Fairfax 
County Public Schools. ♦ William Person 
'92BFA is the webmaster for The Gideons 
International in Nashville. • Richard Pfamatter 
'92BS/MC is an account executive for Clear 
Channel advertising in Richmond. • Caryn 
Persinger '91BFA is a publications manager 
and webmaster for the Virginia State Bar in 
Richmond. • *Steven Piciacchio '94MBA is 
the plant manager for Alsco Metals 
Corporation in Richmond. • Patrick Piggott 
'89BS/H&S '93MSW is a clinical coordinator for 
the Division of Mental Health at the Wright 
School in Durham, NC. • Brian Pike 
'92BS/'95MS/'96PhD/H&S is the scientific 
review administrator for the National Institutes 
of Health in Bethesda, MD. • Thaylene 
Pinnick '92BA is a children's pastor at the 
Peerless Road Church in Cleveland, TN. • 
Philip Pippert '90MS/B is a Global Finance 
group manager for Capital One in Glen Allen, 
VA. • lsaiPochtar'96BS/B married Patricia 
Davin on November 29, 2003. • Edward 
Powers '96MFA is an associate professor of 
theatre at Clarion University in PA. • *Paul 
Pritchett '92BS/MC is a marketing director at 
Smith Container Corporation in Forest Park, GA. 
He lives in Smyrna, GA. • Christen Proffitt 
'97BS/H&S is a family nurse practitioner with 
the Hopewell Medical Group in Virginia. • 
Alexis Rada-Ragland '99BA/H&S '99MT 
married Donald Ragland on August 2, 2003. She 
works for Capital One. • Heather Ramey 
'96BFA is a designer for Mudd Brand junior 
jeans in NYC. * Samantha Ratchford 
'97BS/H&S '99MEd is a school counselor for 
Spotsylvania County, VA Public Schools. • 
Cheryl Ray '98BFA married Keith Burns on 
October 18, 2003. She works for the Virginia 
Department of Emergency Management in 



Richmond. • Hope Redding '96BS/MC is a 

circulation analyst for Primedia, Inc. in NYC. 

• Kelley Reed '92BS/MC is the principal 
consultantfor Keane Inc. in Centreville, VA. 

• Richard Reinecke '96BS is the founder 
and managing director of Career Quest, 
LLC, and co-founder of Career Partners 
Network. • *Christy Reyes '96BA/H&S is a 
corporate paralegal with Sunrise Senior 
Living, Inc. in McLean, VA. • Celvin 
Richardson '93BA/H&S is a probation 
officer for the Virginia Department of 
Juvenile Justice in Farmville,VA. ♦ Ervin 
Richardson '90MBA is the corporate quality 
manager for Southern Graphic Systems in 
Richmond. He lives in Midlothian, VA. • 
*Timothy Roberts '88BFA '97MFA is director 
of marketing and publications for the 
University of Richmond in Virginia. • 
*Melissa Robison '92BS/MC is a web 
producer for Threespot Media in 
Washington, DC. • Joann Robinson 
'95BS/B is an HR consultantfor the VA 
Department of Rehabilitative Services. • 
Cecily Rodriguez '92BA/H&S is a deputy 
state director for Telamon Corporation in 
Richmond. • *Patricia Rollston '98BS/B is 
the executive secretary for Virginia's 
Departmentof Juvenile Justice. • Roy 
Roper '98BA/H&S married Kimberly 
Woodward on September 6, 2003. • Joel 
Rosen '96BFA is a visual interaction 
designer for Kodak. He lives in Rochester, 
NY. • Eric Rossi '90BS/H&S is director of 
database marketing for the Fort Worth Star- 
Telegram in Fort Worth, TX. • Manya 
Rosypal '98MT married Scott Saunders on 
August 23, 2003. • Nicole Samuel 
'97BS/H&S is and LTJG for the U.S. Coast 
Guard in Honolulu, HI where she lives. • 
David Sanchez-Burr '93BFA is manager of 
the graduate program at San Francisco Art 
Institute in CA. • Deborah Savitt '93BFA is 

a senior art director at Dittus Communica- 
tions in Washington DC. She lives in 
Arlington, VA. • *Suzanne Schicklin 
'97BS/H&S is a marketing coordinator at 
the James River Financial Corporation. • 
Kirk Schmitt '99MBA is a research analyst 
with Victory Capital Management in 
Cleveland. » Matthias Schmitt '98MBA 
works with European institutional investors 
at Pursuit Partners, in Stamford, CT. • 
Leslie (Ferree) Schrier '98MSW married 
Stephen Schrier on November 22, 2003. • 
Kiascha Scott '98BS/B is an application 
analyst for Bond International Software in 
Richmond, where she lives. • Shela 
Silverman '94MSW is the director of 
Contac Del Oeste in Las Vegas, where she 
lives. • Kisha Skinner '97BS/MC is a 
managing director for Blackberry 
Productions, Inc. in NYC. ' Susan Spain 
■93BS '01MS/H&S is a research associate 
at Survey and Evaluation Research 
Laboratory in Richmond where she lives. <• 
Anders Steele '98BGS is a sound engineer 
for Eightball Films in Chicago, where he 
lives. • Matthew St. Louis '91 BS/H&S is 



president of Mobjack Bay Arts in Susan, 
VA. » *David Stocker '98BM runs and 
managesThenotesetter.com. • C.Darnell 
Stroble '91BS/H&S works for the US 
Department of Justice as an assistant 
regional counsel in Atlanta. ' Anthony 
Stuart '95BS/B is a business instructor at 
the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic 
College in St. Michael, Barbados. • 
Michael Sturtz '99BS/H&S married 
Michelle Scott on September 6, 2003. He is 
a chemical technician at the Ethyl 
Corporation. • ^Jacqueline Stutz 
'93MURP/H&S is the program administrator 
for planning and development in 
Chesapeake, VA Public Schools. ' 
Susanne Sweeney '98BA/H&S is an inven- 
tory analyst for Circuit City Stores, Inc. in 
Richmond. • *David Taylor '92BS/B is an 
operations manager of P.M. Foods, Inc. for 
Petroleum Marketers, Inc. in Roanoke, VA. 
♦ Tiffany (Miller) Taylor '97BS/MC married 
Lonnie Taylor on July 6, 2002. She gave 
birth to her first son. Christian Immanuel 
Taylor, on September 24, 2003. They live in 
Greensboro, NC. ^ Dawn Hudson-Thomas 
'93BM/A is a band/orchestra teacher at 
Danville City School in Danville, VA. « 
Pascale Thomas '97BS/B '99MBA is a 
senior business systems analyst at Capital 
One in Richmond. » *Thomas Thompson 
'86BS/H&S '93MBA is the director of utili- 
ties at VCU. • Kevin Timme '99BS/H&S is a 
server and bartender at Buckhead's Chop 
House in Richmond. « Jennifer Troch 
'95MBAisa communications specialist for 
Cisco Systems, Inc. in North Carolina. «■ 
Milton Tyler III '90BS/B is engineering 
systems manager for Alstom Power, Inc. in 
Midlothian, VA. » Scott VanBenschoten 
'99MSW is a fellow in the Robert Wood 
Johnson program Developing Leadership in 
Reducing Substance Abuse. He is also an 
assistant director for Chesterfield County, 
VA Community Corrections. • EryckVan 
Ryn '91BS/MC is an inside sale manager for 
PrimeStock Communications in MD. • 
David Vaughan '93BS/B owns David F. 
Vaughan, P.C. in Ashland, VA, where he 
lives. • Cari Walters '98BFA is district 
managerforPrimenca in Virginia. • 
Timothy Warner '92BS/B is a senior 
program analyst in Program Development 
and Management for NASA in Hampton, 
VA. • Deborah Watson '99MEd is coordi- 
nator of Global Information Services for 
Altria Group, Inc. in Pittsburgh. ♦ Mary 
Webster '98BS/B married David Deas IV on 
September 27, 2003. ' *Heather Wheeler 
'98BS/H&S is a human relations specialist 
at Philip Morris. On April 19, 2003 she and 
her husband Brad had their first child, Ava 
Elizabeth. " Jason Whitehead '96BA/H&S 
is an apprentice of historic masonry trades 
with Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. • 
Byron Whitted '93BS/H&S is an operations 
manager for FedEx Express in Petersburg, 
VA. • Johnny Wilkinson '90BS/B is owner 
and president of Wilkinson Consulting LLC 



SUMMER 33 2004 



L-eiTV eLu/;-L : [ 



^1 



d 



d 







BY WANDA FISCHER 




When Helen Smith '51BFA needed 
to finance her education, she decided 
to swing for the fences. Literally. 

Smith went to bat with the All 
American Girls' Professional 
Baseball League, featured in the 
movie, A League ofTlieir Own. She 
played center field for the 
Kenosha Comets and the Grand 
Rapids Chicks in 1947-48. The 
League years were 1943-54. 

In 1940, at graduation from 
John Marshall High School in 
Richmond, Smith was 
Outstanding Girl Athlete, let- 
tering in all four sports open 
to women — field hockey, 
basketball, track and tennis. For the 
next five years she played for three clubs, earning a 
reputation as one of the top fast pitch Softball players in the 
area — "slow pitch is for sissies." A clean-up hitter, she averaged a 
home mn per game in her last three years of club ball. Her record 
gave her a place in the National Softball Hall of Fame in 1975 for 
Virginia fast pitch. 

"1 was offered a contract to play ball for the Girls' League in 1943, 
but there was a war going on," she recalls. "I joined the Army." 

Smith illustrated training aids and the WAG newspaper; and 
she played fast pitch Softball on a women's team at Fort 
Oglethorpe, Georgia. "Nobody else was stupid enough to catch, 
so 1 volunteered." She remembers blasting two grand slam 
homers at a state tournament. In 1944 she was transferred to 
Army Military Intelligence at the Pentagon to work on top secret 
cartography in the war against Japan. 

The Army also gave Smith her baseball moniker, "Gig." "It 
stands for Government Issued Grip," she laughs. (Not her gripe; 



the sergeant's, at inspection, she clarifies.) As a female veteran, 
she is on the Board of the Army Women's Museum at Fort Lee, 
Virginia, and involved with the memorial to U.S. ser^dcewomen 
at Arlington National Cemetery.* 

"After 1 left the Army, I was attending Pratt Art Institute in 
New York City and realized that I needed a way to pay for 
college, so I called to ask if 1 could still join the League. The girls 
who played made excellent salaries for that time, $45-85 a week. 
We also worked hard and practiced hard." 

A third baseman, Smith became a League center fielder by 
accident. "Another Helen Smith had been a center fielder the 
year before I joined. So when I showed up, they just assumed 
that 1 could play center field. 1 really could play most any 
position," she adds. 

After spring tiaining in Florida, the AAGPBL played exhibi- 
tion games up the East Coast on the way to home cities. In 1948 
"we flew to Cuba for exhibition games "before thousands of 
exuberant fans who loved baseball. They also loved the blond 
American girls!" 

The Women's League was formed to keep baseball going 
during the war; officials were afraid the major leagues would fold 
when so many players were being recmited to fight. "We had a 
captive audience. Everyone was so confined then. We had gas 
rationing, and there were no cars to buy because factories had 
been converted to war production; so people stayed close to 
home. Watching the women play baseball was a great diversion, 
an important form of entertainment." 

The League took players' position as role models (and their 
fans' sensibilities) seriously, enforcing a strict dress code. In the 
Charm Guide (really), the women were told what make-up to 
use and how to wear their hair. "We could not wear shorts or 
slacks in public." Gig explains, "You could play golf or tennis 
and be a lady, but there was a stigma to women playing baseball. 
So, we had to wear dresses or skirts. They wanted us to look like 
ladies off the field but play exciting baseball on the field, just 
like the men." 

She had met that attitude before. Her father supported her 
athletic endeavors, but her mother, "a white glove lady," was 



in Centerville, VA. • Jeff Williams 
'91BS/MC is a communications manager 
for Weather Shield Windows & Doors in 
IVIedford.WI. •^^ *David Wright 
'87BS/B'93MBA is director of Enterprise 
Technology Services for Capital One in VA. 
• Eugene Yim '91BS/B is a business consul- 
tant at The DLC in Los Angeles. • Heather 
York '98BA/H&S '98(VIT, Richmond's 2004 
Teacher of the Year, teaches third grade at 
Bellevue Elementary in Richmond. • John 
Zanone III '90BS/B is a senior consultant for 
Spherion in McLean, VA. • Melissa Zervos 
'91BA/H&S is an adult education instruc- 
tional specialist for the Montgomery 
County, MD Public Schools. • *David 
Zimmerman '96BS/B and Courtney Ladd 
'99IVlS/PTwere married on September 27, 
2003. ' Deane Potter-Zimmerman '92BFA is 
a proprietor for Deane & Co. Interiors 
located in Virginia Beach, VA. 

The Neighborliness quartet was chosen 
for the US State Department's Jazz 
Ambassadors Program. Clarinettist and 
sax player John Winn '93BM'95MM is 



also a well-reviewed vocalist and a faculty 
member in VCU's Music Department. 
Pianist Daniel Clarke '01 BM, bassist Curtis 
Fye '02BIVI and drummer Robby Sinclair 

'02BIVI join Winn to play American swing 
for audiences in Cambodia, South Korea 
and Vladivostock in May and June. 

2000s 

Melissa Ahrens '02BSW is a social worker 
on the Family and Children's Team for the 
Charlottesville, VA Department of Social 
Sen/ices. • Betty Alexis 'OOBS/H&S 
teaches at Richmond Public Schools; she 
lives in Richmond. • Rhonda Allen '01BS/B 
is a business education teacher for the City 
of Richmond. • Michael Amodie '03BS/B 
has joined Keiter, Stephens, Hurst, Gary, 
and Shreaves as an associate in their Tax 
unit. • Audur Arnardottir '99MS 
'OIPhD/H&S is a psychologist at Reykjavik 
University in Reykjavik, Iceland. • Brian 
Ashford '01PhD/B is CIO of the Army 
Logisitics Management College in Ft. Lee, 
VA. He lives in Richmond. • Dawn (Taylor) 
Bahen '02BS/H&S '02MT married J 



Michael Bahen on June 21, 2003. • 
*Michael Bailey '03BS/B is a tax assess- 
ment specialist for Chesterfield County- 
Commissioner of Revenue. • Allison Bew 
'01BS/H&S '01 MT married Joshua Harper 
on April 3, 2004. • Marilyn Bishop '02MBA 
is a systems analyst for the Federal Resen/e 
Bank. • Christopher Blake '01 MBA 
married Megan Heaslip on December 20, 
2003. He is a project manager with Miller & 
Associates real estate in Richmond. • Sara 
Bogdan '01 BA is a loan counselor for 
Merrill Lynch in Jacksonville, FL She lives 
in Atlantic Beach, FL • MarkBoito 
'02BS/B martied Lauren Cook on February 
14,2004. • Joshua Bond '01BFA manages a 
costume shop at the University of Virginia in 
Charlottesville, where he lives. • Lisa 
Bradley '01BFA received an NEA 
Professional Development Fellowship for 
Artists. She is a resident fellow at the 
Whitney Museum Independent Study 
Program in NYC. • *Lynette Branch 
'01BS/H&S is director of client services for 
Virginia Investment Advisory in Richmond. 
• Stephanie Braxton '02BS/H&S is a 



SHAFER COURT 34 CONNECTIONS 



definitely opposed. Neither her brother Hugh nor her older sister 
Elizabeth was particularly athletic. 

When Smith got back to RPl (now VCU) in 1948, her "team- 
mates" there were high-powered as well. Painter Judith Godwin 
'52BFA, designer David Sauer '50BFA and theatre major Bob 
Watkins '48BFA '50MFA garnered national and international 
renown. Smith's advisor in art education was Ruth Highland, 
daughter of RPI founder Henry Hibbs. 

Helen is 82 now, and baseball is still opening doors. When 
Dare to Compete, an HBO special about female athletes' strug- 
gles, premiered at the White House, Gig met President Bill 
and First Lady Hillary Clinton. "Tennis greats Billie Jean King 
and Chrissie Everett, Olympic swimmer Donna DeVarone, bas- 
ketball star Lisa Leslie — they were all there, and I represented our 
baseball league." 

When A League ofTlieir Omi came out, the Richmond Times- 
Dispatch invited her to watch with a reporter and critique the 
movie. The film was fairiy true to life, she says, though "a little 
Hollywood" in places. "The movie showed how tmly awful the 
uniforms were. The girls were injured a lot when they were 
sliding into bases or hit by foul balls. We often had 'strawber- 
ries' — big bmises — on our legs. Sliding was the worst for 
injuries." Smith stole only two bases in the AAGPBL. She remem- 
bers Sophie Kurys, stolen base queen of the League, who stole 
more than 1,000 (ouch!) during her career. 

"The movie opened up so much for us," Smith says. "It's 
wonderful that girls today aren't stigmatized as athletes. It's 
about time that women earned the kind of money that some of 
the big athletes are being paid. If a girl has the ability and drive 
to go to the top, she should." The teacher in her cautions, "I 
don't think parents should push children — boys or girls — if they 
don't have the talent to be a professional athlete." 

Smith returned to Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame 
in September for an AAGPBL reunion. "The exhibition on 
women's baseball is quite inspiring. They didn't induct just one of 
us into the Hall of Fame, they inducted all of us." Two days before 
the induction, several of them were invited to the Championship 
T-Ball Tournament on the WLiite House Lawn, where she met 




President George 
W. Bush, Laura Bush, Cal 
Ripken and Dottie Richardson, an 
Olympic Gold Medalist at Atianta. 

"You are stressing baseball," says Smith, "but my 31 years of 
teaching were extremely rewarding." She taught art and shop in 
Richmond Public Schools, breaking another gender barrier. "In 
those days, women didn't teach shop." 

Smith spent her last eight years teaching emotionally dis- 
turbed children, all grades, at Westhampton School. "I had to 
learn a totally different way of handling kids. You had to back 
into a situation; you didn't go headlong. I loved those kids. They 
shared more of themselves in art and shop because it was freer. 

"My three great interests in life," Smith sums up, "were the 
Army, baseball and teaching. I'm still involved with all thiree, 
and I wouldn't tiade any of them for another." 

More infonnatioii at www.aagpbl.org . 

*To complete memorial records, Gig urges all womeij who sen'ed in the 
armed forces to contact Manorial Foundation, Dept. 560, 
Washington, DC 20042-0560. 

Wanda Fischer ploj's competiti\'e tennis, loves baseball and folk music. 
I^oducer Km Bums used songs he heard on her radio show in his PBS 
series on baseball. Her own CD is Singing Along with the Radio. 



project discovery coordinator for Powhatan 
Goochland Community Action Agency in 
Goochland, VA, where she lives. • Victoria 
Brock 'OOBFA works for the Classic Printing 
Center, Inc. in Chantilly, VA in sales and 
graphic design. * Erika Brooks '99BS 
'02MS/H&S is a family therapist at Clinical 
Alternatives, P.C. in Richmond. She lives in 
Doswell,VA. • Bryan Bryant 'OOBS/B is a 
senior associate for Pricewaterhouse 
Coopers in the Assurance and Business 
Advisory Division in Washington, DC. • 
Edward Buchanan 'OOBS/En is an engineer- 
ing project manager for English Boiler and 
Tube, Inc. in Richmond. • Kim Carlton 
'81BS/H&S '02MS/B is a software develop- 
ment managerfor Capital One Financial in 
Richmond. « Andrea Carson '02MS/E is a 
program director at the Southeast 4-H 
Educational Center in Wakefield, VA. She 
lives in Smithfield,VA. • Matt Charles 
'01,MPAis a child abuse investigator for the 
Administration for Children's Services. He 
married Melissa Bryant on May 31, 2003. 
They live in Manhattan. • Brian Collins 
'OOMEd is a psychologist for the VA 



Department of Corrections in State Farm, 
VA. • Donald Cosgrove '03BS/B is a super- 
visor for UPS in Richmond. • Robert Croft 
'OOBS '02MS/En is a mechanical design 
engineer for Dominion VA Power. • 
Jeremy Cropp's '03BFA film. Relative 
Movements, was screened at the Dance on 
Camera Festival in NYC in January, 2004. " 
*Bradford Crosby '01BS/En is a lithography 
technical supervisor for Infineon 
Technologies Richmond. • *William 
Crowder '02BS/B is a systems technician at 
Citizens & Farmers Bank in West Point, VA. 
' Lauren (Purcell)Cummings '01 BS/E 
married Deward Cummings III on October 
18, 2003. They live in Virginia Beach. ' Sam 
Dalton '02BS/B is a capture managerfor 
CMS Information Services, Inc. in Vienna, 
VA. He lives in Fairfax, VA. • Nahom 
Debessay '02BS/E is an associate engineer 
at Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford, CT • 
*Kathryn DeFilippo '03BA/H&S is an 
appointments specialist in the Secretary of 
the Commonwealth's Office for the Office of 
the Governor of Virginia. « *LeighAnn 
Dicken '03BSW is the director of social 



services at Our Lady of Hope Health Center. 
• Shannon Dowdy '02BS/En is a photolitho- 
graphy process engineerfor Infineon. • 
*Dewitt Drinkard 'OOMS/H&S is an assis- 
tant professor of psychology for Danville 
Community College in Danville, VA. • Dawn 
Edge '01BFA is a litigation support associ- 
ate at Hunton & Williams in Richmond, 
where she lives. • 'Jefh-ey Elmore '01 MEd 
is an academic instructor at the Fluvanna 
Correctional Center for Women. ° DuRaun 
Epps '01BFA is a graphic designer and web 
editor for North Arundel Hospital in Glen 
Burnie, MD. ' Courtney Etheridge '03BS/B 
is a broadcast traffic coordinator for 
Moroch and Associates in Dallas. • 
Elizabeth Farina '03BS/MC is a staff writer 
forWomack Publishing Co. • Brett Fullam 
'01BFA is an art director for Huntley Design 
in Richmond, where he lives. ' Tiara Gantt 
'02BA/H&S is office manager of Student 
Affairs at VCU. « James Gibson '03C/B is a 
credit, risk and IT analyst for the Federal 
Reserve Bank of Richmond. ' David 
Classman '03MBA is the president of Fifth 
Point Properties, LLC in Lexington, VA, 



SUMMER 35 2004 



where he lives. ' Patrick Godfrey '02BFA is 

an illustrator and owner of Velocity Comics 
in Richmond. He co-founded Oddgod Press. 
• Erin Gray '03BS/H&S is VCU's coordinator 
for Information & Off Campus Student 
Services. • *Brianne (Duty) Gunn 
'OOBS/H&S married Stefan Gunn on April 
26, 2003. ' Sopha Guthrie '01BS/B is a 
project coordinator with Capital One 
Financial Corporation in Richmond. ♦ Terry 
Hall '02BS/MC is CEO of Creative Type in 
Richmond. '^ April Halstead '03BS/H&S is a 
customer service representative with 
Wachovia Bank. " Leslie (Wood) Hardesty 
'01BS/B married Nicholas Hardesty on May 
17, 2002. She is a staff accountant at 
Deloitte & louche, LLP in Richmond, where 
they live. ' Fredrick Harmeling 'OOMBA is 
works for Dominion Resources in project 
managing and consulting. ■> Buffy 
Harwood 'OOBS/B is vice president and 
director of online services for the 
Independent Brokerage Group of Wachovia 
Securities in Richmond, VA. • Donna 
(Smelly) Harwood '02BA/A is co-director of 
sales for Victoria's Secret in Richmond. • 
Michelle Hassler 'OOMS/H&S is a criminal- 
ist in the Forensic Biology section of the 
San Diego Sheriff's Crime Lab. ' Russell 



Henderson 'OOBS/H&S is an analyst for 
BrownGreer PLC in Richmond. • Bryan Hill 
'02BS/H&S is a planner II for the Town of 
Culpepper in Virginia. " Casey Hill 
'02BS/H&S married Stacey Barrow on 
August 16, 2003. They live in Richmond. ♦ 
George Hoang '01BS/B is a claims adjuster 
for Southern Insurance. • Mary Huff 
'01BS/B is a personal sales representative 
for Liberty Mutual in Richmond. • Janelle 
Jennings 'OOMEd is the Westhampton 
College associate dean at the University of 
Richmond. • Lamar Jeter 'OOBS/B is an IT 
support specialist with Pittsylvania County 
Schools. He lives in Chatham, VA. • 
Jeremy Jones '03BS/B is president of 
Huddle Up Sports, Inc. in Highland Springs, 
VA. '■ *Carol Keith '81BS/B'02MBA is 
manager of the customer relationship man- 
agement division of Federal Reserve 
Information Technology in Richmond. • 
Joseph Knott '01 BS/E married Michelle 
Burton on May 17, 2003. ' Kristin (Beran) 
Krupp '03BS/MC married Bryan Krupp on 
June 28, 2003. They live in Chesterfield 
County, VA. ' AlinaLacey'OIBS/H&Sisan 
organizational development specialistfor 
P&L Publishing in Evergreen Park, IL • 
*Nan Leininger '02MSW established the 



Child Protection Resource Center of 
Virginia. • TemekaLoney 'OOBS/H&S is an 
office services assistant for the Virginia 
State Police. ♦ Christopher Lowry 
'02BIS/H&S married Robyn Willhide 
'96MS/AH on October 5, 2003. • Kelly 
Machett 'OOBS/B is an external affairs 
business development analyst for Universal 
Corporation in Richmond. • Kevin Mack 
'OOBS/MC married Moneke Archer on 
March 6, 2004. • *Mohit Mago '97BS/B 
'01MBA is an analyst and statistic reporter 
for Wachovia Securities in Richmond, 
where he lives. ' Sonia Marfatia '02BS/B 
is a recruiter at BranCore Technologies in 
Richmond. • *Melina Davis-Martin 
'OlMBAisthe president of the Central 
Virginia Chapter of the National Multiple 
Sclerosis Society. ♦ Roberta McKnight 
'88BS'01PhD/Eisa research specialistfor 
the Virginia Literacy Institute. • *Jean 
Mendelis '93BS/H&S '03MT is a social 
studies teacher at James River High School 
in Midlothian, VA. • Teri Morton 
'OOBS/H&S married Allen Johnson on 
November 22, 2003. • PaulNeSmith 
'OOBS/B is a property manager for 
Commercial Investment Associates in 
Richmond. • Sabina Newton '01MSW is an 



In Memoriam 

Charismatic 

VCU freshman Nicole Marie Megaloudis 
died February 9, 2004, in an automobile 
accident. She was 19. 

A soccer player whose father and step- 
father were soccer professionals, 
Megaloudis "had already had an immedi- 
ate impact," for her skill and her heart, 
VCU Coach Chris Brown told the 
Richmond Times-Dispatch. The 
midfielder/forward scored the winning 
goal in the season opener against UNC 
Asheville and played in all 20 of VCU's 
2003 games. Brown added, "It's going to 
be impossible to replace the energy and 
enthusiasm she brought to every day." 

Long-Term, High-Energy 
Commitment 

Dr. Wyndam Boiling Blanton Jr. '50MD 
'52HS died October 28, 2003, in 
Richmond at 84. He was a fourth-genera- 
tion physician and MCV alumnus, and a 
clinical professor and former assistant dean 
in the School of Medicine. Blanton was 
VCU rector from 1972-1980, the longest 
term in the school's history. He had been 
on the University's Board of Visitors since 
1969. He also served on the boards of the 
VCU and MCV Foundations. 

WTiile in private practice, he became 
vice president for medical affairs at Charter 
Medical Corp. Blanton also raised Holsteins, 
breeding them to produce more nutrient- 
rich milk without growth hormones. 

"Dr. Blanton's life was one of giving," 
said President Eugene Trani. "We will miss 
his positive influence and inspiration." 



Soaring Traveler 

Internationally acclaimed painter and 
designer Arthur Biehl '50BFA, died at 
home in Venice, Florida, on April 3, 2004, 
after a five-year battle with cancer. He was 
77. Biehl taught in the Department of 
Communications Arts and Design from 
1953-74 and was chair in the early 1970s. 

"Art was not only a masterful designer 
but was also an accomplished painter 
whose skillfully executed paintings were 
carried by galleries and in New York, 
Florida and Europe," his colleague Chuck 
Scalin told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. 

Biehl won a national design award in 
1965 for one of his most visible works, the 
graceful seaguU logo for the Chesapeake 
Bay Bridge Tunnel. He received the 1987 
Presidential Award for outstanding contri- 
butions to the arts in the U.S. 

Generous Mentor 

Akira Ouchi died at home in west 
Henrico County, December 11, 2003, 
after five and a half years fighting colon 
cancer. He was 69. Ouchi had retired only 
last year from his position as associate 
professor of communication design at 
VCU, where he has taught since coming 
to Richmond from Tokyo in 1982. 

Illustiator Timothy Cook spoke about 
his former teacher with the Richmond 
Times-Dispatch. Cook remembers with 
delight Ouchi shovdng his students' best 
work, "pointing out, in what seemed like 
a state of rapture, conceptual break- 
throughs, unusual solutions, complex 
relationships." 

In the 1980s Ouchi volunteered with 
Richmond's Mettopolitan Economic 



Development Council and designed a 
branding stiategy to entice Japanese com- 
panies to the area. 

Inside History 

Dr. Henri Jacques Warmenhoven, 

emeritus professor, died January 17, 2004, 
at 79. He had taught political science, 
comparative governments, and V^estem 
European history at VCU for 23 years, 
ft-om 1968 until he retired in 1991. 

Warmhoven wrote a W^estem 
European history textbiook now in its 
seventh edition. But history's violent 
lessons were personal. As a teenager. When 
the Japanese invaded his home in Java in 
1942, the teenager was separated from his 
family and placed in a POW camp. 

After liberation, he earned a law 
degree in the The Netherlands and lived 
in Dutch New Guinea and Australia 
before coming to VCU. 

Man of the World 

Dr. William John Beck, VCU professor 
emeritus of French, died on February 14, 
2004, in Richmond. He was 78. Beck was 
founding chair of the foreign language 
department ft-om 1969-1985. He added 
courses in Latin, Greek, Russian and 
Italian; developed courses for nonmajors; 
set up VCU's first study abroad program; 
and was president of the Virginia Council 
for Study Abroad. 

The son of Polish immigrants and 
fluent in many languages, Beck founded, 
language banks at VCU and at the Red 
Cross to provide ftanslators for non- 
English speaking people. In the Richmond 
Times-Dispatch, colleague Dr. Margaret 
Peischl remembered a small man of 



SHAFER COURT 36 CONNECTIONS 



emergency services counselor for CSB in 
the mental health division. • Phat Nguyen 
'01BS/H&S is a physician in Manchester, 
NH. • Marybeth Norton '01BFA is a graphic 
artist for Capital One with Aquent in VA. • 
Meghan O'Flinn 01 BSW '03MSW is a 
children and family services mental health 
case manager forthe Richmond Behavioral 
Health Authority. • Onalee Ojibway 
'01BS/E married Michael Taylor on June 14, 
2003. • James Opalka'03MBA married 
Kristin Martin on September 27, 2003. • 
Jeffrey Parrish 'OOBS/H&S is the Deputy 
Sheriff for Hanover County. ♦ Curtessa 
Pennington 'OOBS/MC is an advertising 
coordinator for Print Solutions Magazine in 
Alexandria, VA. • Aimee Perron '02MSW 
drafted bill 893 passed in the Virginia 
General Assembly in February 2003. She is 
now legislative director forthe ACLU of 
Virginia. • Christian Porter '03BFA is a 
graphic designer for the Ethyl Corporation. 
• Rob Przybylski 'OOBS/H&S is a captain of 
Infantry for the US Army. • Odell Ramirez 
'03BS/B is a partner of Ubertechies in 
Richmond, where he lives. ♦ Marika 
Rasmussen 'OOBS/H&S is a project assis- 
tant for Ferring International. She lives in 
Copenhagen. • Ruth Redbird '03BS/H&S is 



a laboratory assistantforVirginia Tech in 
Engineering/Research. > Loretta Hayes- 
Richardson 'OOBGS/H&S is a registered 
nurse for VCU Health Systems. • John 
Robinson '03MBA is a staff analyst for 
Southern Financial Bank in Richmond. • 
Elizabeth Salomonsky '02BS/B owns Sky 
Computers in Richmond, where she lives. -^ 
*Timothy Sartini 'OOC/B is a program 
manager for VDOT in Richmond. He lives in 
Mechanicsville, VA. <■ Brian Schaneberg 
'OOPhD/H&S is an analytical senior chemist 
for ChromaDex Analytics in Boulder, CO. • 
Stephanie Schwickerath '02BA/H&S 
teaches English at Henrico County Public 
Schools. She lives in Richmond. * Aaron 
Scruggs '03BS/En is a realtor for Long & 
Foster in Richmond. • Murad Shahid 
'02BS/H&S teaches at Garfield Senior High 
School in Woodbridge, VA. He lives in Dale 
City.VA. • *LauraSiewert'03BFA works 
full time at Motion Capture Studio in Los 
Angeles and is a freelance compositor. She 
has done visual effects work forthe movies 
The Polar Express and Spiderman 2. • 
Percy Smith '03BS/B is a locomotive 
engineerfor CSX Transportation in 
Richmond, where he lives. " Stefanie 
(Herron) Smith '01MA/H&S married Ian 



Smith '01BA/H&S in June 2002. She is a 
graduate teaching assistant at the 
University of Delaware. He is a loan officer 
at Virginia HomeLoan, LC. They live in 
RutherGlen, VA. " Heather Smithson 
'96BS/B 'OOC/B is vice president of Roden 
Personnel, Inc. in Richmond. ' Mario 
Souza '96BS/AH 'OOC/B is a software devel- 
oper for SAIC in McLean, VA. He lives in 
Vienna, VA. • *Thelma Stockton 
'OOBGS/H&S is a financial systems instruc- 
tor at VCU in the Department of 
Procurement and Payment. « Meredith 
Sullivan '03MS/E is a regional sales 
manager for Washington Capitals in 
Washington, DC. « RyanSutelan'OIBS/Bis 
president of Classic Vision Productions in 
NYC. • DouglasTaylorJr'OIBS/Bisa 
senior account executive for Beneficial 
Finance in Virginia Beach. • Tara Leach- 
Thomas 'OOBS/H&S teaches math and 
science for Roanoke City Public Schools in 
VA. • *William Toots 'OOBS/MC is an ESPN 
studio technician in Bristol, CT. » Geralyn 
Trujillo '02BS/B is a scientific program 
coordinator with the American Pyschiatric 
Association in Arlington, VA. She lives in 
Stafford, VA. ' Bernell Turner-Holmes 
'02BSW '03MSW married William Holmes 



tremendous energy — verbal and physical. 
"His classes were so Lively and so enter- 
taining. I don't think he was ever bored." 

A Familiar Voice, Silent 

Scott Stevens died of a heart attack in Vail, 
Colorado in September, 2003. He was 44. 
A voice heard often in Richmond, as 
"Clint Smith" on Q-94 in the '90s and 
later reporting on traffic for Clear 
Channel, Stevens taught electronic media 
writing and voice at the School of Mass 
Communications. His widow Lisa Smith 
wrote in a letter to the Richmond Times- 
Dispatch that "he had a passion for being 
on the radio here, and for sharing that 
enthusiasm with Ms students at VCU." 
Former student Kevin Bailey '03BS/MC 
noted in Richmond.com, "Stevens cri- 
tiqued me as a professional not as a 
teacher." In December, 2003, Smith set 
up the Scott Stevens Scholarship for 
broadcasting students at VCU. 

Stage Presence 

Marvin Sims, head of 
performance in the 
Department of Theatre at 
VCU, died of a heart 
attack while visiting 
friends in Gainesville, 
Florida on December 25, 2003. He was 55. 
In six years at VCU, Sims taught acting, 
directing, African-American theater 
history, dramatic history, and criticism. He 
m^de cultural diversity a priority, helping 
students start the Theatre of Diverse Voices 
at VCU. Nationally, Sims was president of 
two national organizations, the Black 
Theatre Network and the Association for 




Theatre in Higher Education — simultane- 
ously. He had served on the board of the 
Kennedy Center's American College 
Theater Festival. 

At a January 10, 2004, memorial 
service on campus, dozens of colleagues, 
friends, family and students from all over 
the country honored him with their anec- 
dotes, prayers, and tributes of song, 
dance, art and performance. 

Theatte Chair David Leong conjured 
Martin's spirit. "Great actors have it. Great 
teachers have it... Presence!" Leong said. 
"We feel his presence. A presence so 
strong that we expect him to walk 
through the door right now." 

Many students and graduates spoke of 
him as more than a mentor — a father, 
"Dad." "How many students has Martin 
fed?" one alumna exclaimed. "He fed 
them chili, and he fed their spirits." 
Another added, "He never gave you easy 
answers. He taught you that when you 
fan, you fail — ^but that failure is how you 
learn." Leong was not the only one 
pinned by "the look" — Sims' pointing 
finger, accompanied by "that bright and 
wide, almost devilish smile and Sims' 
laughter.... you always knew the subtext." 

Everyone there had been warmed by 
Sims' embracing smile. Mikell Pinckney, 
the friend Sims was visiting when he died, 
described finding him Christmas after- 
noon. "On his face was the most radiant 
smile that said, 'I have seen Glory!'" 

To contribute to the Marvin Sitns Scholar- 
ship Fund to support diversity, write check to 
VCU Foundation, notation Man4n Sims 
Scholarship Fund; to VCU Foundation; PO 
Box 842026; Richmond, VA 23284-2026. 



Without Bias 

Dr. Ted Jay Smith III died of a 
heart attack at 58 on January 4, 
2004, after a battle with cancer. 
Smith had been on the faculty of 
the School of Mass Communica- 
tions since 1987 and directed its 
graduate studies in 1990-92. 

"Ted demanded a standard of 
excellence for VCU's journalism program 
that raised the bar for everyone," said 
Judy VanSlyke Turk, director of the 
School of Mass Communications. Even 
under pressure to compromise, she 
adds, "he never caved in." His student 
Ebsabeth Bost '03BS/MC agrees. "Dr. 
Smith always inspired me to go the extia 
mile." Most important, she adds, "he 
taught me to undertake everything in life 
with my whole heart." 

Smith's research areas were media 
analysis and criticism, public opinion and 
propaganda, and organizational commu- 
nication. Smith was an often-quoted critic 
of liberal media bias and propaganda, 
political cortectness, and network 
reporters, especially those from CNN. He 
was a senior research fellow at the Center 
for Media and Public Affairs, a board 
member of the National Association of 
Scholars and founding director of the 
Virginia Association of Scholars. 

On campus. Smith was often at odds 
with the liberal majority; but his unwaver- 
ing contention was that academia was out 
of step with mainstream America and in 
need of serious reform. Manorial contribu- 
tions can be sent to Dr. Ted f. Smitii III 
Memorial Fwid; VCU School of Mass 
Commmications; P. O. Box 842034; 
Richmond, VA 23284. 




SUMMER 37 2004 




(Continued from page 26) \ 1970s 



feels strongly that 
"building alumni bonds 
with the university 
depends on building 
human bonds. When 
alumni can connect to 
the people representing 
their university, that 
creates long-term rela- 
tionships. Attracting, inspiring and 
keeping good alumni staff is key. A 
mutually supportive staff and 
atmosphere of respect with every 
member willing and able to do any 
and all jobs assures alumni and 
students that their association is 
there to serve them and support 
the university." 

VCU and its Alumni Associa- 
tions have grown and matured 
rapidly, and both Associations are 
ready to be fuU partners with their 
university. The Associations have 
the programs to insure financial self 
reliance and to continue their 
heritage of substantial gifts to VCU. 
They are a significant presence on 
campus, and their open front doors 
welcome alumni, students and 
guests alike. Their award-winning 
magazines, exciting websites and 
email capability build trust and 
pride in VCU. 

"I am grateful for the opportu- 
nity to have worked with the 
alumni, staff and students who 
brought the Associations to this 
level," lies beams, "and I am proud 
of the potential and energy 
awaiting the new director." 

Mary Eileti Mercer has been editor of 
Shafer Court Connections since 1993 
and was editor of Scaiab 1992-00. 



Mary Baird '79BS/E on February 13, 2004, at 
53. • Marie (McCormick) Boucher '70BS/E 

on January 13, 2004. A teacher for 
Richmond Public Schools, she received the 
Outstanding Teacher Award in elementary 
and secondary education in 1976. • Ann 
(Mabel Brown '71BSW '79MS/H&S on 
February 20, 2004, at 55. She was a profes- 
sor of anthropology at Mansfield University 
for 24 years. She was a member of the 
American Anthropological Association and 
theSociety of American Archeology. • Lois 
(Williams) Dowdy '70BS/E '76MEd on 
January 27, 2004, at 78. She taught in 
Henrico County, VA Schools. • Albert 
Fritter '72BS/E on February 1, 2004, at 85. He 
was pastor of the Pleasant Valley United 
Methodist Church in Loudoun County, VA. 
He was assistant state director for 
Vocational Rehabilitation Services in 1977. 
He received the Counselor of the Year 
Award from the Virginia Department for the 
Visually Handicapped; the State of Virginia 
Elkins Award; and the Mid-Atlantic Region 
Elkins Award for his outstanding service. 
He retired from the Virginia Commission for 
the Blind and Visually Handicapped and the 
United Methodist Church in 1983. • David 
Gipe Sr '72BS/E on March 17, 2004. ♦ 
Frances (Gray) Gordon '70MEd on 
December 19, 2003, at 81. She was a retired 
supervisor of Special Education for 
Richmond Public Schools. • *W. Floyd 
Johnson '67BS '72MS/B on December 1 1 . 

2003, at 58. He was a retired director of leaf 
operations for Philip Morris. He was presi- 
dent of Monument Park Association and 
board member of the Royal Sea Fare 
Association. He was one of the original 
members of the Port of Richmond 
Commission, a former board member of the 
Richmond Salvation Army, past president of 
the Richmond Export/Import Club, and past 
chair of the Virginia Conference on World 
Trade. • Vincent Jordan 74MSW • 
Stephen Judd 73BS/E on February 12, 2004, 
at 52. He was a former teacher and police- 
man. • Lonnie Lewis Jr. '79BS/B on April 1, 

2004. • Mary (Brown) McCain '78MA/H&S 
on February 4, 2004, at 62. She was a 
teacher and administrator in Richmond 
Public Schools until her retirement in 2001. 



She was a member of the Zeta Phi Beta 
Sorority Inc., Richmond Delicados, Inc. and 
Treble Clef Book Club. • Thelma (Seldes) 
Nieder "77MEd on September 24, 2003, at 
81. She taughtfirst grade at Henry Clay 
Elementary School for 18 years. • Luther 
Pace '70BS/B on September 10, 2003. He 
worked for OHyperformance. • Dan 
Pollock '74MS '78PhD/H&S on December 
25, 2003, at 60. He was a U.S. Army veteran, 
a former member of the Special Operations 
Response team, and a retired clinical psy- 
chologist • Stephen Richards '76BFA on 
October 21, 2003, at 49. He was a bookseller 
at Fountain Bookstore in Richmond. • 
Joseph Sheets '71 AS/En on February 2, 
2004, at 54. He was vice president of the 
Atlee Group, Inc. For 30 years he was chief 
engineer of Alpha Recording Company and 
In Your Ear Music. • Mary Snoddy '76MEd 
on November 5, 2003, at 87. She was a 
retiree of the Richmond Federal Reserve 
Bank. ♦ David Watson 74BFA on 
November 3, 2003, at 55. He was a free- 
lance graphic art designer. 

1980s 

Maria Christian '82BS/MC on March 13, 

2004. • Carol Greene '88BFA on December 

13. 2003, at 38, in an avalanche in the 
Cascade Mountains. She managed a 
Starbucks in Seattle and had recently 
climbed to the summits of Mount 
Kilimanjaro and Mount Ranier. • Ann 
(Morton) McCray '87BS/E on December 19, 
2003, at 39. • Charles Fore '81 BGS/H&S on 
February 20, 2004, at 73. He was a retired 
sergeant major in the U.S. Army. • Sandra 
Green '85C/B on February 18, 2004, at 51, of 
cancer. • SoniaMaurer'89BFA on March 

28. 2004, at 37 after a long struggle with 
cancer. • Leonard Miller '81 MEd on 
March 20, 2004. • James Neagle 
'81BA/H&S on November 16, 2003. • 
Stephen Rennolds '81BS/H&S on 
September 7, 2003. • Elizabeth Secrist 
'84BS/B on March 23, 2004. She was the 
president of the local chapter of the Virginia 
Breast Cancer Foundation. • *Adice 
(Murphey) Waymack '83BGS/H&S on 
October 16, 2003, at 80. She helped estab- 
lish Reach for Recovery in Richmond. 



Key To Abbreviations 

Alumni are identified by year degree/school 

Schools 

A Arts 

AH Allied Heaith Professions 

(CIS) Clinical Laboratory Sciences 
|RC| Rehabilitation Counseling 

B Business 

CPP Center for Public Policy 

D De-'tistry 

E Edu:?iion 

En Eng.neenng 

H&S Hurnanmes and Sciences 

M-BH Medicino-Basic Health Sciences 



MC Mass Communications 
N Nursing 
P Pharmacy 
SW Social Work 

Degrees 

AS Associate's Degree 
C Certificate 

BGS Bachelor of General Studies 
BIS Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies 
BFA, MFA Bachelor, Master of Fine Art 
BIS, MIS Bachelor, Master of Interdisciplinary 
Studies 



BSW, MSW Bachelor, Master of Social Work 
BM, MM, MME Bachelor, Master of Music, 

Master of Music Education 
M, DPA Master, Doctor of Public Administration 
MAE Master of Art Education 
MBA Master of Business Administration 
MD Doctor of Medicine 
MEd Master of Education 
MIS Master of Interdisciplinary Studies 
MPA, DPA Master, Doctor of Public Administration 
MT Five-yearTeacher Education program includes 

a BA or BS/H&S and a Master of Teaching. 
MURP Master of Urban and Regional Planning 
PhD Doctor of Philosophy 

*Memberofth€ VCU Alumni Association 



1990s 

Barbara Blackwell '92BS/H&S on October 

6, 2003, at 34. • Pearl Cox '97BFA on 
January 6, 2004. William Fulton '92BS/B 
on February 24, 2004. Nathaniel Scott Jr 
'91BS/H&S on October 18, 2003. 

2000s 

*Keith Gregory '79BM OIMSW on 

November 21, 2003, at 47. • Carroll 
O'Donnell '02C/B on November 5, 2003, of 
cancer. She was communicationscoordina- 
tor for VCD Student Affairs & Enrollment 
Services and a member of the National 
Society of Collegiate Scholars, the 
Association of Information Technology 
Professionals, the National Association of 
Webmasters, the HTML Writers Guild ofthe 
International Association of Computer 
Trainers, and the Maryland Council of 
Directors of Volunteer Services. 



pRlFNins OF VCU 
Lynn Abbott Jr. on March 23, 2004. • Donna 
(Brown) Banton on February 20, 2004, at 64. 
She taught in Virginia Public schools for ten 
years. ♦ Laurie Hopper on December 31, 
2003, at 66. He was a retired employee of 
Seward Lumber Company in Claremont, VA. 
• Ross Millhiser on December 6, 2003, at 
83. He was the vice-chair of Philip Morris 
Companies, and responsible for originating 
the now famous "Marlboro Man." • 
Elizabeth (Golsan) Schneider on January 
16, 2004, at 89. She was a former trustee of 
the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, on the 
Boards of the Richmond Symphony and the 
Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the 
Fine Arts Committee for the State 
Department and a member ofthe Historic 
Richmond Foundation. « Virginia (Brown) 
Smith on April 3, 2004. 



Alumni Life Tips 

Our homes and cars are usually our most expensive purchases and major assets. 
Most of us can't afford to have those assets underinsured if a catastrophic loss occurs. 
The check list below will help you review your coverage to make sure your home and 
vehicles, and thus, your family, are properly protected. 

1. Review the declaration pages to be sure all information is accurate. Do not rely on 
verbal confirmations. Make sure your zip code and the year of construction on your 
home are correct This data directly affects your premium and replacement value of 
your home. 

2. Educate yourself about the different discounts that insurance companies offer. 
For home insurance, there may be discounts for an alarm system, a newer home, and 
proximity to a fire station. For auto insurance, discounts may apply for a good student, 
college education, mature driver, and safety features of your vehicle. For both auto and 
homeowners insurance, your residence history and length of employment could make 
a difference in your rate. You may also want to check with your employer, alumni or 
professional association to see whether they offer an affinity program with an 
additional discount 

3. Be honest with your agent about the use of your vehicle. If you regularly use your 
personal auto for business, your insurance probably needs to be classified for the 
business purpose. While this may mean a slightly higher premium, it protects you from 
having a claim denied later because your insurance was improperly classified as 
only personal. 

4. Don't base your decision only on price. Make sure that the insurance company 
delivers the level of service you expect Ask the company about their claims handling 
process, and if there are local representatives for you to contact should you want 
another option than a centralized 800-number. 

5. Take into account where you live and drive. For example, if you live in a rural area, the 
chance of being in a multi-car crash on the highway is much less likely than in an urban 
or suburban area. This would affect the amount of bodily injury or property damage 
coverage you need. 

6. Look into any other special benefits the insurance company offers (free roadside 
assistance, discounts with other retailers for the maintenance of your vehicle or home, 
safety courses for young drivers, educational seminars, etc.). 

A periodic review of your auto and home insurance coverage may take a Irttle time; 
but these expensive investments deserve the right protection. 

Since 2001, Liberty Mutual has been providing alumni of VCU and its Medical College 
of Virginia Campus with the Group Savings Plus® (GSP) program. Through Liberty 
Mutual's GSP, alumni are eligible for additional discounts on automobile and 
homeowners insurance. For more infonriation call 1-800-524-9400 or visit 
http;//www.libertymutual.com/lm/vcuaa for Academic Campus alumni or 
http://www.libertymutual.com/lm/vcumcaa for MCV Campus alumni. 




At the African American Alumni 
Council's 15th Reunion, glad greetings 
flew all weekend — from Friday's reception 
hosted by /W\C President Nina Sims '93BS/MC 
and a "Back in the Day" party with band E.U., 
through the traditional great picnic and Saturday 
dance. Alumni took time tor thought at a seminar 
led by VCU associate vice provost for diversity. 
Dr. Micah McCreary, and tiis wife Jacqueline; 
and at the farewell breakfast with a talk from 
Reverend Walter Smith Jr. '80BS/H&S. 




veil Grows iasv 

In November, President Eugene Trani unveiled 
plans for the Monroe Campus (in downtown 
Richmond's Monroe Ward), a 10.8-acre addition 
to VCU's Academic Campus. The $218.5 million 
project includes Phases 2 and 3 of the Engineering 
School, a new School of Business, a conference 
center, and residence halls. j- 

VCU's nationally recognized AdCenter has 
an eye on the area's 1897 Central Belting _,,;;- 
Building-"the kind of left-brain, over-the- 
top space that they prefer," President ■^*m 

Trani observes. The new engineering and business 
buildings to open in 2007 and 2008 are near each 
other. Cross-pollination wUl develop tech-wise 
MBAs and market-smart engineers. 

Trani calls the project a "self-help initiative," 
because the state would supply only $30 million 
(14 percent) of the total cost. (See "Campaign for 
VCU," inside front cover, and VCU Budget 
Increases, p. 5.) Trani argues that the Monroe 
Campus — like VCU expansion on Broad Street — 
will transform the University and revive a vastly 
underused section of the city. The entire 
project will take 15 to 17 years ^ 



•."Wife 








Main Street Elevation: the Business (left, east) and Engineering Schools at opposite ends 
of the block connect in a common area at the center of the curving arms with colonnades. 

Oversite: Lower left, familiar Engineering pyramid at Main Street 
and Belvidere; across Belvidere, new Engineering Building on 
Belvidere from Main to Gary Streets and east; new Business 
Building on Main Street from tower east; south side of Gary (to 
right), student residences with parking for 800 cars underneath. 
Heading downtown, in the next block, a conference center on 
Gary; farther east is Gentral Belting Building; and behind that a 
new Anderson Gallery. North and west again, on Gary, proposed 
faculty apartments with ground-floor retail. 




VCU 



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